Could you pass the chicken test?

Originally published at:


I feel like I could almost predict who will fail and who won’t. The failures seem to have much more humane faces…


The idea candidates.


Yeah, I’m pretty sure I could watch this all day and get better than 85%.

Anyone who looks like the sort of prick who gives the cops a bad name passes the test, it’s like clockwork. I’m almost certain that with the ones who turn out to fail, I’d already decided they look somehow smarter and more decent.

Hmm, makes me wonder if perhaps there was something to phrenology after all, that an AI could tease out.


There’s definitely a “look” these sociopaths share.


Back up here…

To ensure that its graduates can discharge their duties with the absolute minimum of human warmth

Do you have definitive evidence that this is the point of the exercise there? They simply get told to drop and do some push ups, not screamed at and drummed out of the program as a fail. Could this exercise possibly and very simply be to teach them how to focus in the position of attention?

As RET Army, we did these sorts of things to recruits in BASIC and other early training. It isn’t about removing their humanity, it is about teaching focus.


It says, ‘I think in black and white, take the wrong things too seriously, and the right things not seriously enough.’


I agree that the description of it is a bit of an over-reaction. Still, I think it’s important to think about how such tests are designed. Say you want to test people’s ability to set their emotional response to a situation aside and react neutrally (which is a great skill for anyone working in crisis situations). You can do that by seeing if they are able to set aside their inclination to laugh, but you get false positives from anyone who just doesn’t think it’s funny or who generally just doesn’t laugh at things. The test does test for focus, but you get a free pass if you happen to have an “absolute minimum of human warmth.”

If instead you did a test where you were expected to carry on an ordinary conversation with a person who was flicking you in the forehead every 10 seconds, you’d likewise test for the ability to set aside your feelings and focus on the situation, but you’d be giving the free pass to people who have high tolerance for annoyance, who just don’t get all that angry, or who are so deep in learned helplessness that it just rolls of their backs.

So it does matter to me that this test specifically is training them to filter out humour rather than generally testing for the ability to act neutrally in the face of any emotion. They may do other tests to see about candidates’ ability to control their anger, but I have to say my biases make me doubt it.


Completely agree. I feel based on how the trainers are reacting (with a little humor of their own and some level of levity) that the exercise is intended to help these trainees develop a tolerance to distraction on some level.

I do not think it is about remving human empathy. I think perhaps forcing them to watch vile acts of human degredation daily would be more the technique for that as opposed to slidiung a squeaky rubber chicken into their view.

One of the things I do not like here is the knee jerk reaction to disparage all LEO into a single bucket. I get the rationaliztion to do so, LEO are not doing themselves any favors given the horrific acts we have seen reported on in the news. And I certainly err on the side of caution when dealing with any cop at this point because you just don’t know. I just cannot get behind “All Cops are inhuman savages hell bent on destruction” any more than I can get behind “All liberals are snowflakes who need safe spaces.”


Oh I’d fail. I’m too much of a joker.

Good thing they didn’t go full Full Metal Jacket on them.

Fun fact - my dad’s name IS Lawrence and he was a sailor.


I see a pro empathy use here- to not laugh at someone with, say, funny teeth or a speech impediment when you are trying to deal with them professionally. This is an exercise in mindfulness meditation. When I was learning this the instructors would sneak up with push pins, not rubber chickens, so all in all I’d say this is pretty humaine.

Mindfulness meditation is the kind of training that lets a cop react to a startling event with thought instead of adrenaline. Probably good stuff here.


When I was in BASIC…a DI was razzing every person with the worst vile insults towards moms, dads, siblings, girl/boy friends, etc…you get the idea. He walked over to me as I stood there stone faced and yelled at me from a half inch away “And what about you…Your wh*re mom was at the truck stop last night paying to GIVE bjs!” to which I smirked and he yelled “YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY?!” and I yelled “NO DRILL INSTRUCTOR, I JUST DIDN’T KNOW YOU KNEW MY MOM”

He actually laughed and then of course was pissed that I got him. Made the entire platoon drop and do push ups except me…just to make everyone mad at me.

guy was such a jackass.


If you can make it through this without cracking a smile, you’re the Goddamn Batman.


the horse almost got me…then the guy assaulting the chicken kind of turned the entire thing sour…then the chicken dance beat almost got me again.


I never smile…becauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse…i’m batman


Who would want to attend a police academy and be told to do push ups for smiling? If someone has such a hard on for discipline to the point where human emotions is subject to punishment just join the fucking military for life already. Go into a war zone and laugh it up. FUCK!

This is soo funny. I think it is a perfect test. The people who fail get to do pushups which make them stronger. The drill sergeant knows who in the class needs to lighten up and who will interact well with the public and has a sense of humor needed in a university community.


Extra credit if they shoot the ducky?