Redeeming the ‘Know Yourself Better’ personality quiz (possibly)

  • The quiz pictured is genuinely from a women’s magazine – an early 1970s publication with the unfortunate title Candida (if you’d like to know more about it, ask!  It’s a pet research project of mine).

This post is part of
my ‘This is my real life’ week.  

To read how that began, you can click here for the opening post.

To read other posts in this series, simply scroll down past this one.

 As a tween and teen, I was a massive fan of the personality
quizzes that periodically showed up in girls’ and women’s magazines.  I’m not talking Myers Briggs or anything that
sophisticated; I mean the pop-psychology ‘What kind of indie chick are you?’
variety.  The most basic were a simple
flow diagram, just yes or no, but more common was the multiple choice question.  Usually the responses were grouped ‘Mainly As’
and so on, but occasionally you were required to score each answer individually
to find out your result.  I liked these
ones the most, lured by the implication that the end revelation would be worth
the extra effort.   It never was.
Considering I clearly remember shampoo advertising jingles from the
early 1990s, as
discussed in yesterday’s post
, the fact that I can’t recall any personality
quiz results from the decade that followed is probably testament to how inane
they were.

Of course you know what’s coming next, don’t you?!

A quiz!

Insert major caveat: I offer no promise that these questions
will help to classify or decode your personality.  There aren’t even any results to conform to
(surely I’m not the only person who manipulated their answers to fit the
description they most liked the sound of at the end?).  

Instead this ten question quiz offers some binary options
for you to reflect upon to whatever level you wish (they could be great journal
prompts).  It can be fun to discuss the
choices with another person (a version of this is a common ice-breaker game, a
good way of highlighting similarities and differences within a group).  You may subvert the whole format, insisting
that you value both equally – or even rejecting the two offered in favour of
another option altogether!

The goal? Simply to reflect upon your own whims and idiosyncrasies.  We all have our own particular ways of
looking at the world and navigating our way through it; to become more
conscious of that can provide some useful insights.  

If nothing else, it might help you to recognise your
particular preferences – your specific likes and dislikes, pleasures and
irritations.  Knowing such information
makes it easier to craft a life that integrates the former and minimises the latter.  

As someone who drank blackcurrant squash for thirty-two
years before realising I didn’t actually like it, I can vouch that such
self-awareness can have a profound effect.
Obviously Just Seventeen never
featured ‘Which fruit based cordial most stimulates your tastebuds?’ flow

The quiz

Orange squash or blackcurrant?

Indoors or outdoors?

Book or film?

Past or future?

North or south?

Home or away?

Sound or vision?

Black or white?

Sweet or savoury?

Old or new?

Can you think of any similar two-choice questions that I
could add?  I’d love to hear more
suggestions.  You can share with me via Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or
the A Life Of One’s Own Facebook page – or you can email (

This post is part of
my ‘This is my real life’ week.  

To read how that began, you can click here for the opening post.

To read other posts in this series, simply scroll down past this one.

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