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What Online Quizzes Tell Us About Ourselves

shutterstock_194317793The other day a Facebook friend posted a link to a free online quiz.

The title read, “What is your brain gender?”

Of course I had to take it (I mean, who knew my brain had a gender?!)

The quiz asked me a series of seemingly easy questions.

I felt confident in my answers.

My result? My brain is 88% “female.”

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised (although I will admit to a moment of wondering what the other rogue 12% might be up to).

The moment I got done with that quiz, the website presented another.

The title read, “What is your inner age?

I was so on this – I leaped right in and began answering more questions.

The quiz then informed me that my “inner age” is “35.”

At this point, I felt oddly bummed out (“Only 8.5 years younger than I really am? Are you SURE?”)

So I started to scan the results page, looking for more information.

For instance, which scientists compiled these survey questions? What methodology do they use to evaluate responses? What does it mean to have a “female” versus a “male” brain (all obvious reasons aside)? Is it better to have an “inner age” of 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, younger, older?

Are there any “action items” I should consider based on my quiz results – anything that might make me younger, healthier, happier, more attractive (inside and out, of course)?

For that matter, what does choosing “animals” as my closest friends over “nature,” “people,” or “things” have to do with having a feminine brain, anyhow?

If I say I’m better at “listening,” than at “talking” or “eating food,” how exactly does that impact my inner age?

And why does the second quiz call the internet “the Internets?”

All of this just reminds me of why curiosity is not always a good thing.

Or rather, why curiosity itself is fine, but how I direct it (and what I let it get up to while I’m feeling too lazy to supervise it properly) can be key.

I didn’t really have any opinion on my brain gender before encountering the quiz. If the rest of me tests as “female,” why would my brain be any different?

As far as the second quiz is concerned, I honestly thought I would test as younger than I did. I often feel immature (or maybe just inexperienced) for my 43 years, plus I can be surprisingly naive about, well, a lot of things.

But in the end, in terms of what I actually learned about myself, the answer is “not much.”

My mentor often cautions me against assuming others know more about me than I know about myself.

She constantly reminds me to go within, to seek my own inner truth, to ask myself an interesting or important question at least as often as I ask someone else, to seek my own counsel and assign it the same level of value I might assign to her advice or another trusted advisor’s.

I suspect she wouldn’t have been tempted by either quiz.

I also suspect the next time I see a “free online quiz” that promises to answer life’s most complicated questions in 60 seconds or less, I won’t be either.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever taken a free online quiz hoping for a quick ego boost or adrenaline rush of “fast food style” insight? What was the experience like? Afterwards, did you find yourself wishing you hadn’t taken the quiz after all – if so, why?

Woman on computer image available from Shutterstock.

What Online Quizzes Tell Us About Ourselves


Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering. http://www.loveandfeathersandshells.com http://www.shannoncutts.com


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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2014). What Online Quizzes Tell Us About Ourselves. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2014/09/what-online-quizzes-tell-us-about-ourselves/

 

Last updated: 13 Sep 2014
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