Sunday, November 23, 2003

Unusual Test

I was reading a book on testing this weekend, and it had an unusual quiz in it. It said, "In the next 5 minutes, name 20 new uses for a bucket of water." Then it had a blank page with 20 lines on it, like this (Go ahead and take the test now if you'ld like - answers are below):

1) _______________________________________
2) _______________________________________
3) _______________________________________
4) _______________________________________
5) _______________________________________
6) _______________________________________
7) _______________________________________
8) _______________________________________
9) _______________________________________
10) ______________________________________
11) ______________________________________
12) ______________________________________
13) ______________________________________
14) ______________________________________
15) ______________________________________
16) ______________________________________
17) ______________________________________
18) ______________________________________
19) ______________________________________
20) ______________________________________

I came up with all kinds of stuff. Things like, "freeze the water and use it as a building block for a house in Antarctica" and "put a tiny hole in the bucket and use it as a timer" and "pour the water through a small waterwheel/generator to power a cell phone."

The funny thing was, this quiz was actually a hidden test for sociopaths. The book said, "In particular, the usefulness of your answers can indicate whether your unique thought processes are the result of rational or irrational thought. Sociopaths may have unique uses for a bucket of water, but those uses are likely to involve drowning animals, committing suicide or murder, gaining revenge on those whom they feel have done them an injustice, and torture." I learned that I am not a sociopath -- none of my answers had any evil intent. I had never suspected that I was a sociopath, but it was an unexpected way to confirm this fact about myself. It makes you wonder how many other official tests and quizes you take are actually screening for something else.

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