What Kind of Personality Test Are You?

Ah, recursive humor. Recursive humor is just one level of Hell outwards from the inner frozen circle of Puns.  Both puns and recursive humor rely on a certain cerebral attitude to be considered even remotely, possibly, given the right circumstances, a candidate for being that-which-normal-people-might-refer-to-as-quote-unquote-funny.  Whereas puns merely elicit groans, recursive humor elicits a kind of nerdy, nasal chortle.  In short: I love recursive humor.  

DRZ recently tipped me off to a nascent meme, apparently featured on the Woot blog, regarding a “What Kind of a Quiz Are You Quiz?”  I couldn’t find it on Woot, but found the following fine specimens, here and here…  and  here…  and… here.  Amazingly, even with these silly parodies, the Forer Effect held true… they really got me down to a tee:

Tell Me About Your Quizzes...

Tell Me About Your Quizzes...

Meanwhile, here’s a nice description of this whole phenomenon:  “Facebook Quizzes: What Kind of Narcissist Are You?” by Rachel Held Evans.

narcissusI’d like to do an analysis of the different sorts of popular quizzes out there, and the kinds of categories they could fall into. 

But I won’t do that.  No. 

Not today, anyway.

Instead, I will quote Adams, Book Five:

“I know that astrology isn’t a science… Of course it isn’t.  It’s just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis… The rules just kind of got there.  They don’t make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves.  But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people.  In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the difference it would make. It’s just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It’s like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that’s now been taken away and hidden. The graphite’s not important. It’s just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology’s nothing to do with astronomy. It’s just to do with people thinking about people.”  
– Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

It’s easy to be cynical about systems which claim to objectively “peg” individuals based on a set of questions. As Adams describes it, these systems are valid only in the sense that they (at best) provide an elaborate series of levers that our subconscious minds can manipulate in order to elicit a subjective, self-serving response. The response will usually be vague enough to allow for some interpretation, of course. Yet, in some ways Adams was being very open to this whole idea of personality testing/profiling.

Another great science fiction writer summarized it as follows:

I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical. 
– Arthur C. Clarke

I’m working on a special 2×2 matrix personality test for internet geeks:  On one axis you’ve got the Pirate vs Ninja continuum.  I still can’t figure out what to put on the other axis.  Any suggestions?  Nareg? SMG??

Lastly, in the spirit of online social-media self-focused narcissism / navel-contemplation, I will make a confession:  Several months ago, in a fit of contrarian orneriness, I tore into StrengthsFinder survey and its Forer Effect-like properties, among other things.  You remember that, Nareg & SMG (the only people likely to be still reading at this point, god bless ya). Well,  I still stand by those comments. However, I left out one bit of information:  I took the test and THEY NAILED ME and THEY NAILED ME GOOD.  meme-menagerie-catThey define a “strength” as something you can do for hours and not tire of doing , something that energizes you, etc. etc. Over the past couple of years, I’ve found that writing for this blog has exactly that effect on me. Bearing that in mind, along with the overall theme of this blog as a publically-viewable-idea-scrapbook-kind-of-thing, here’s what the Wizards of Gallup said:  

#1 Theme:  Ideation   (fascinated by ideas… finding connections between seemingly disparate phenomena)
#2 Theme: Input  (craving to know more… enjoys collecting and archiving all kinds of information)
i.e.,  Ideation Input
Name of this Blog:  Meme Menagerie 

Yikes.  Things were easier when I was just a Gemini

But enough about me.   If you were a personality test, what kind would you be?


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on April 16, 2009, in humor, Learning, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. As much as i hate facebook quizzes (i have them blocked actually! i dont see any results from people) i think people do them in a desperate attempt to connect with others. and i can understand that.

    “oooooh!! ur favorite car is a Lamborghini too??”

    pirate / ninja VS noob / leet

    of course.

    re: astrology
    I’ve always thought astrology is not totally full of BS. well sort of. I think there is such a thing as personality archetypes. I guess it’s been observed over the (thousands of) years and some kind of pattern has come up… It’s the predetermination part that’s more hokey.

  2. If you’re interested in a real psychology-based personality test, check out our Personality Patterns app; it provides very detailed feedback in a visually, interactive format, along w/some cool social features. You can also find it on Facebook. On the go? Try it on your iPhone.

  3. I would be the “What Kind of Personality Test Are You?” quiz.

    Guess we air signs have similar senses of humor. (Libra, here: recursion suits us to a T, since “balance” requires the weighing of all available input… and the world is just loaded with the kind of vicious circles created by infinite recursion.)

    And what do you mean puns only elicit groans? I aspire for the “Coke-shooting-out-the-nasal-passages” kind… and often succeed.

    (As for astrology: I’m with nareg. It may be impossible, in any physical sense, for it to work as described, but I’ve seen it make accurate personality predictions far above anything chance could account for. My personal suspicion is that it has more to do with an interaction between seasons and early growth cycles, but that’s just a guess. I’d love to see some honest work done on it, unbiased by any predisposition to “prove” or “disprove” it… which, to the best of my limited knowledge, is the only kind that has been done so far.)

  4. _–_____–_______-__-_—_-_-_

    Great website! I think there are many valuable information and advices here. Along the same line, I came across the following website which I found interesting. Traditionally, personality tests such as MBTI have been used as career aptitude test. However, these tests have a very limited scope as they ignore many important factors such as person’s skills, values, and interests.

    There have been many advancements in the area of career aptitude testing. Usage of artificial intelligence to evaluate suitability of a job for a person is one of the these techniques. You can take a complete version of the MBTI personality test plus many others such as memory, IQ, problem solving, and patience tests in OptYourLife. This website’s expert system tries to find the most suitable career path for you using neural network. Moreover, salary of different careers will be considered in the final analysis to provide a more insightful advice for you:

    http://www.optyourlife [dot] com/


  1. Pingback: A Geek’s Guide to Probing « Meme Menagerie

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