We’ve come along way from the ink blot and skull personality test, or have we?
Today I was surfing the internet, checking mail, facebook,doing writing research wanders on an artist I am developing as a character in a short story and decided to do some quizzes. You know the ones that tell you ‘your inner self.’
There are some funny ones out there, like ‘what breed of guinea pig are you’, and some more classical ones like ‘Which Greek Goddess are you?’ and for literary types what character you are in particular books.
What is the purpose of these quizzes? I first came across them in Women’s Magazines whilst waiting at the Doctors or Dentists. I saw them as something to entertain the reader and a partner to astrological charts. I later did some more serious ones whilst a first year psychology student, and then my children did various ones when being tested for academic giftedness or assessed for counselling to cope with bullying and social situations.
Personality tests were developed in the 1920s, and were a set of questions designed to reveal the psychology and character of a person.
But their origins go back to the psuedoscience phrenology where the human skull was used to determine a person’s personality and propensity to criminality and later proven to be ridiculous.
Science came along and tided this up and now they are used for army entrance, occupational health, employment testing and it’s a billion dollar industry.
One of the challenges with the tests is that participants can choose what they think is the best response, rather than what is an honest response of their true personality. I remember my son absolutely hating all of them and saying ‘it’s so obvious what you should write to be perceived as normal, and someone really strange could just pick all of those without any worries.’ (He is I should add quite a ‘normal’ person (whatever that means), if somewhat shy unless with guitar in hand.)
But along with the serious tests developed by psychologists and social scientists, which try to scientifically collect the data with likert scales (strongly agree to strongly disagree per topic) there are the popular pop quizzes you see pop up regularly as apps, on facebook, and online.
These are presented in a fun way, without scales, and often with a visual basis. They are usually quite short!
From a creative writing point of view I think they would be useful for characters in a novel to do them in waiting rooms, and let the reader know about themselves that way. Or a scene with two friends discussing their results would be fun!
Playbuzz has several of them that seem especially popular with my friends. People seem to love sharing something about themselves after playing these games, especially if they like the results and feel that somehow the quiz really did show them for who they are.
So here are my results for today.
“Goddess of Marriage (Queen of the gods)
You have a very patient and motherly disposition. You look after all of those you care about in one way or another. Your patience is made of steel and you hardly ever get angry. Many say you are gullible but you actually see more than they think…however sometimes you have a tendency to let people step all over you anyways even when you know they are doing just that!”
“You were born to play Princess Leia from “Star Wars”! :You are a real independent, funny, and smart person. You have tons of charisma, you are lovable, talented and people are just drawn to you. Basically, you’re BADASS. You’ll be the perfect princess Leia!”
Cypress Tree: Your friends say you are an old soul. Like this ancient Cypress, you have seen the sands of time wash over the word, and as a result know all of the world’s mysteries. Some may say you are stuck in the mud, others admire your steadfastness and large amount of heart. Keep up the good work Cypress, but don’t forget to shake things up when they start to get to normal for even your old-fashioned tastes.
You got Paranormal! You are interested in something supernatural and interesting! Maybe some mystery and unexplained occurences Recommendation: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
One of the challenges of some of these quizzes is if you know anything about what is in the quiz when given a choice. I attempted the ‘What Muso Type are you?’ but didn’t like or know most of the music listed, so I am not going to bother to do or share that one. But then there are so many you can just find one that you feel like doing.
The type of quiz you choose may say more about you than the actual quiz.
Are you more Frodo than Sam? (Would someone who hasn’t read or seen or liked Lord of the Rings take this one?)
What kind of gun suits you (really would a peace loving person take this one?)
What Avenger would you marry? (Fictional character)
I am sure my daughter would do any quiz with guinea pigs or dragons in it.
My eldest son would avoid them all like the plague while my youngest would sit on the fence and do some with his sister for fun.
So what are your favourite personality quizzes, what did they teach you about yourself and have you ever constructed one?
So signing off,
It ‘s June who has discovered she is – Hera, Princess Leia, with inner Cypress, and about to read more paranormal.