Most personality tests are idiotic. But this one is great.

A curious quirk of the internet era is how we have chosen the online personality quiz as a primary tool of self-examination.

I say “we” not as a royal we but as an encompassing category that I regularly discover via social media includes all sorts of people — elderly relatives, former professors, and so on — whom I would have thought too serious to be lured by the siren call of such trifling endeavors in pop psychology. But lured they are. And more often than I’d like to admit, I am too.

The online personality quiz is a variable beast. Preeminent in its class is, of course, the pseudoscientific Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which purports to offer a four-letter code capable of encapsulating your very essence. MBTI is centered on four dichotomies — introversion vs. extraversion, intuition vs. sensing, thinking vs. feeling, and perception vs. judging — and online analyses with which we can sort ourselves according to this scheme abound. (I am on the border between INTJ and ISTJ.)

Then there are the lesser quizzes, many of which are tied to some media franchise: “What character from Parks and Rec are you?” (Ben Wyatt.) “Which Jane Austen heroine are you?” (Elinor Dashwood.) Most famous of this category is the Pottermore quiz, which acts as the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter series to place you in one of the four Hogwarts houses: brave and determined Gryffindor, hardworking and loyal Hufflepuff, ambitious and cunning Slytherin, or wise and clever Ravenclaw. (I am a Hufflepuff on the better-quality quizzes and a Ravenclaw on the ones with lots of grammar mistakes.)

At the bottom of the barrel are the garbage quizzes featured on BuzzFeed and its ilk. Where at least the media franchise quizzes can reference a well-developed fictional world, these garbage quizzes exist purely to earn their creators ad revenue and waste participants’ time. On BuzzFeed’s quiz page as of this writing are such luminous offerings as “How Many Of These 40 Types Of People Do You Hate?” plus “Spend A Lot Of Money On Clothes And We’ll Guess Your Favorite Type Of Food” and “Screw Tarot Cards, Create Your Own Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream And We’ll Tell You Your Future.” (I cannot tell you what I scored on any of those because I couldn’t bring myself to click the links.)

These quizzes and their popularity may be …read more

Source:: The Week – Health


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