Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For The Casual Reader

Personality quizzes are a subject of some interest to me. When I have nothing to do except Calculus, I often stall by taking random personality quizzes online and reading my results. A serious dilemma has developed in the personality quiz sphere of the internet over the past few years. Namely, every fool, idiot and nincompoop out there can create personality quizzes via websites like Quizilla.

These quizzes are erroneous, assinine and tell me things that I already knew. For example, yesterday I learned from five different quizzes that I am "sweet, kind and like to help people." Some answers make no logical sense. For instance, one quiz told me that I am a "heartless bastard" and should study "law." Now come on, not every lawyer is a heartless bastard. Furthermore, being a "heartless bastard" does not qualify one for studying law. And finally, on what did it base this idea? It asked a question about what I would do if I found a puppy on the street and I clicked the answer that said: "That's a full-bred Newfie, maybe there's a reward for returning it to the owner." Now I don't really care if there's a reward. But I am the sort of person who would notice the breed of a random puppy on the street. I would try to return it to the owner no matter what breed. I just figured that if it was a Newfie a reward might be possible. Anyway, that doesn't make me a heartless bastard, I still cared enough to return the puppy. So, what the hell is wrong with being a little capitalistic about helping a puppy?

Of course, then there are the amusing quizzes that could not possibly help one in any way, shape or form. These quizzes tell you what kind of killer you are. Or what Lord of the Rings character you are. I took one recently on what Batman villain I am. I turned out to be the Penguin which made me very happy. But I'm not a villain so it doesn't really matter. The "just for fun quizzes" are more legitimate than the random career quizzes from the above example. They mean nothing and they never will. Nor do they pretend to mean anything, thus I enjoy them. My favorite would be the "Get Your Pirate Name" quiz which starts out with a sentence that says the following: "You must be very careful to answer each question honestly or it will not give you the correct answer." I enjoyed that, because so many quizzes attempt to be serious by saying something like that when they were created by an amateur.

That's one of my main beefs with personality quizzes. It's not as if they are created by psychologists. Yet they take themselves so seriously. My second beef is that you can tell a quiz whatever you want. If you see yourself a certain way, the quiz is going to see you that way. So there is no way to know if what the quiz says is true or not because it is always subjective to how you see yourself. My third and final beef stems from the type of questions on personality quizzes. Everyone's favorite question: "What's your favorite color?" They then proceed to list some colors, but they are not all the colors in existence. How can you ever be truthful when the answers depend upon the selection of the person making the quiz? It's the same with most questions. I always want to put in an answer that doesn't exist as an option to the question.

In conclusion, I would say that most personality quizzes are completely pointless. They are constructed by people who do not know how to analyze a personality. Furthermore, they are encumbered by several problems. Whomever wrote the quiz thinks that he or she is some sort of amateur psychologist and knows what he or she is doing. Really, however, they are amateurs. Amateur idiots who care way too much about what color is my favorite but are not smart enough to include my favorite color in the list of answers. And of course, the quizzes are always hampered by my view of myself. So, in the future, I will only take quizzes that are funny and mean nothing in the real world. At least those ones amuse me.


Xana Ender said...

I've been trying to get Jeremiah to take the Keirsey version of the Myers-Briggs Test Indicator (REAL personality tests!) He thinks the questions are stupid and refuses to answer some of them, which really would screw with my results. "Why do I have to pick between being a hard-nose & and a softy? What if it changes based on the situation? Why can't I be both at once?" me: "Just shut up and answer the question! Give your preference! It's not THAT exact of a science!"

ha ha

MaxiSmeg said...

I want a quiz to do!!! I read all that hoping for a good quiz at the end and I got nothing!

I'm so disappointed!!! :-p

Esther said...

Here's the Batman villain quiz:

I didn't think about putting in a quiz at the end, that would have made the post a little more fun.

HuskerFoley7 said...

LOL! I agree with you, yet those stupid quizzes are addicting. For instance, if I were a sign of affection, I'd be holding hands... well, whoopity doo! Anyway, thanks for the comment on my blog to that jerk. It was great! :)

little-cicero said...

Agreed...If you read on a quiz, "Which animal do you most resemble: A crab, a hyena, or a lion" you would not pick the crab!