The barometer question is an example of an incorrectly designed examination question demonstrating functional fixedness that causes a moral dilemma for the examiner. In its classic form, popularized by American test designer professor Alexander Calandra (1911–2006), the question asked the student to "show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer." The examiner was confident that there was one, and only one, correct answer, which is through calculating the difference in pressure at the top and bottom of the building. Contrary to the examiner's expectations, the student responded with a series of completely different answers. These answers were also correct, yet none of them proved the student's competence in the specific academic field being

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  • سؤال البارومتر أو بارومتر بور هو أحد ميمات الإنترنت ذات الشعبية، وأحد القصص التي تعتبر من الاساطير الحضرية . (ar)
  • Die Barometer-Frage (Barometerfrage) ist eine moderne Sage in Bildung und Wissenschaft. Für die Lösung eines Problems, das eigentlich eine (institutionell) anerkannte Lösung besitzt, werden möglichst unkonventionelle alternative Lösungswege angeboten. Genutzt wird die Barometer-Frage u. a. als Anekdote, um für Kreativität und Querdenken zu sensibilisieren. (de)
  • L'histoire du calcul de la hauteur d'un immeuble à l'aide d'un baromètre par Niels Bohr est une légende urbaine. Elle décrit l'inventivité du jeune Niels, pour répondre à un énoncé de physique soumis par un de ses professeurs, des solutions techniquement justes, mais intentionnellement hors sujet. Cette histoire aurait en fait été écrite dans le Reader's Digest en 1958, et l'histoire se serait transformée au fil du temps en une anecdote supposée réelle et attribuée à Niels Bohr. (fr)
  • The barometer question is an example of an incorrectly designed examination question demonstrating functional fixedness that causes a moral dilemma for the examiner. In its classic form, popularized by American test designer professor Alexander Calandra (1911–2006), the question asked the student to "show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer." The examiner was confident that there was one, and only one, correct answer, which is through calculating the difference in pressure at the top and bottom of the building. Contrary to the examiner's expectations, the student responded with a series of completely different answers. These answers were also correct, yet none of them proved the student's competence in the specific academic field being tested. The barometer question achieved the status of an urban legend; according to an internet meme, the question was asked at the University of Copenhagen and the student was Niels Bohr. The Kaplan, Inc. ACT preparation textbook describes it as an "MIT legend", and an early form is found in a 1958 American humor book. However, Calandra presented the incident as a real-life, first-person experience that occurred during the Sputnik crisis. Calandra's essay, Angels on a Pin, was published in 1959 in Pride, a magazine of American College Public Relations Association. It was reprinted in Current Science in 1964, in Saturday Review in 1968 and included in the 1969 edition of Calandra's The Teaching of Elementary Science and Mathematics. In the same 1969 Calandra's essay became a subject of an academic discussion. It was frequently reprinted since 1970, making its way into books on subjects ranging from teaching, writing skills, workplace counseling and investment in real estate to chemical industry, computer programming and integrated circuit design. (en)
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  • سؤال البارومتر أو بارومتر بور هو أحد ميمات الإنترنت ذات الشعبية، وأحد القصص التي تعتبر من الاساطير الحضرية . (ar)
  • Die Barometer-Frage (Barometerfrage) ist eine moderne Sage in Bildung und Wissenschaft. Für die Lösung eines Problems, das eigentlich eine (institutionell) anerkannte Lösung besitzt, werden möglichst unkonventionelle alternative Lösungswege angeboten. Genutzt wird die Barometer-Frage u. a. als Anekdote, um für Kreativität und Querdenken zu sensibilisieren. (de)
  • L'histoire du calcul de la hauteur d'un immeuble à l'aide d'un baromètre par Niels Bohr est une légende urbaine. Elle décrit l'inventivité du jeune Niels, pour répondre à un énoncé de physique soumis par un de ses professeurs, des solutions techniquement justes, mais intentionnellement hors sujet. Cette histoire aurait en fait été écrite dans le Reader's Digest en 1958, et l'histoire se serait transformée au fil du temps en une anecdote supposée réelle et attribuée à Niels Bohr. (fr)
  • The barometer question is an example of an incorrectly designed examination question demonstrating functional fixedness that causes a moral dilemma for the examiner. In its classic form, popularized by American test designer professor Alexander Calandra (1911–2006), the question asked the student to "show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer." The examiner was confident that there was one, and only one, correct answer, which is through calculating the difference in pressure at the top and bottom of the building. Contrary to the examiner's expectations, the student responded with a series of completely different answers. These answers were also correct, yet none of them proved the student's competence in the specific academic field being (en)
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  • سؤال البارومتر (ar)
  • Barometer-Frage (de)
  • Barometer question (en)
  • Baromètre de Bohr (fr)
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