Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blackened Dots

It began in high school with an irrational irritation. I would take personality tests that required me to blacken in circles that represented my choice or answer. Why did it irritate me?

In graduate school I was required to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The 600+ questions provided more irritation and self-questioning as to the source of my irritation. Actually, some of the true/false questions were entertaining: “I like tall women.” How to answer that? I don’t dislike tall women so selecting false is out of the question; the only choice left is true. But, what does that mean? I like tall women to the exclusion or better than short women? I watched for a question that asked if I like short women -- which I would have answered true also -- but the question wasn't there.

I finally discovered why these tests irritated me. I reject the assertion that a person can be reduced to set of blackened circles that can be read by a machine. The sheet of blackened dots seems to strip a person of humanity, hopes, dreams, memories and passion.

Once I realized the source of the irritation it ended. Now, I take these tests with a grain of salt and with a view to learning and entertainment.

Recently I discovered a teaser test and blackened my dots. Here are the results.

I took the tests multiple times with different questions and got different results. I became Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein. In the movies I was Indiana Jones ("You live for adventure, fortune-hunting and danger.") and "Apocalypse Now" ("You are a rogue wanderer on the winding river of life, searching after your shadow self.")

Julie took the tests, saw her results where were radically different from mine and jokingly asked "How compatible are we?" As I've tried to tell her for some time, we're beauty and the beast.

On that note, with number 2 pencil in hand, I'll wander off in search of my humanity, hopes, dreams, memories and passion -- and scatter a few blackened dots along the way.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Most of the various online quizzes can be good for a laugh -- and that's all.

1/10/2008 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

MIne tell me I don't exist, and to please repeat the test.

In boot camp the statement that pissed me off the most was "there are pretty pictures on the wall". I would look around the hall crowded with several thousand other recruits, and not seeing anything hanging on the far distant walls, would answer "yes" just to fuck with them if they really WERE paying attention to my answers.

I don't remember failing anything.

1/10/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

I am Raider's of the Lost Ark. I thought about taking the leader test but was scared I might be bush and then I would have to commit sepuku

1/10/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

That gives me an idea....the next time I have to take one of those tests or questionairres, I'll pretend there are 26 options on each line, and then fill in the circles based on the following numbers: 19, 9, 13, 16, 12, 25, 20, 9, 13.

And the answer is????


1/11/2008 01:58:00 PM  

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