Posted by

Kaitlyn Furge Kaitlyn Furge
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Share

Questions about quizzes

February 4, 2014
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Questions about quizzes Questions about quizzes

If your Facebook looked anything like mine this week, it was a circus of quiz results. Two of my family members had magically transformed into Disney princesses. One of my friends was proudly declaring he was Darth Vader. It was surreal for many reasons, and I found myself asking many questions. The main question seemed to be 'Wait, when did quizzes become cool again?'

I have vague memories of when quizzes, at least for me, seemed to surge to a crescendo in popularity. I was a weird species called a pre-teen, identifiable by sticky lip gloss and roll-on eye shadow that contained more glitter than a craft store. Quizzilla was a roaring monster of a site that anyone who was someone knew about. Personality quizzes moved in chain mail through inboxes. It wasn't just the internet, however, that was asking questions. Magazines, books, virtually every medium had some form of quiz. In time, however, they died out just like every other trend. 

Now, they're back, at least for a short time. The upswing in the trend doesn't just happen to be with a certain demographic, however. Results spread through social media like wildfire without a common thread or characteristic between the quiz takers.

So, what makes us want to take these personality tests voluntarily? Any other test we seem to reel in fear at taking, whether they be academic or medical. The odd thing is, though, is that those are the tests whose results are fully backed by something. Those who administer eye exams, for example, have had some training in optometry. The results of the test are backed by science. Internet personality quizzes, however, can be created by anyone with a keyboard and wifi. The results can come from anywhere, and can be based on anything. And yet, we keep clicking on them.

I think that there are two main reasons that we take personality quizzes. The first is for the humor and entertainment of them. Men on Facebook had no problem taking the 'What Disney Princess are you?' quiz because they knew two things: the results had little to no merit, and sharing the results would be entertaining for other people to consider.

The second reason dives a little deeper into our brains. It feeds off two main questions that we all have: who are we, and what is our purpose? Those are questions that we all ask ourselves from time to time. Sure, we aren't really going to find out our life purpose from taking an eight-question quiz on which character we would be in Middle-earth, but it will give us some satisfaction.

Maybe we'll take a second look at ourselves and figure out which team we are on and what we should fight for. Maybe we can't be Darth Vader in real life and take over the universe, but maybe that result gives someone enough confidence to finally ask for a promotion at work. Maybe someone gets the result Snow White, and realizes that although they can't talk to woodland creatures, they do have some connection with animals. Perhaps that person then goes and adopts a pet, or starts looking at veterinarian schools.

Personality quizzes may not have any science behind them, but they can administer the same effect as a coin toss. It is when the coin is spinning through the air we realize which side we really want it to land on. Quizzes force us to take an introspective look at ourselves. Whether we agree with the results or not, we learn or confirm something about ourselves. That is a result we can all be happy with.

Related items (by tag)

back to top