Sometimes, it seems like the Internet is simply designed as a delivery system for finding out what Hogwarts house you belong in. (I've thought long and hard about this and I am a Gryffindor, dammit.) We're all at least a little bit narcissistic, after all, and personality tests appeal to that side of us. Many of them are like horoscopes: vague enough to sound about right for everyone, and to confirm your positive preconceived notions about yourself. But other tests can actually be useful, as Reddit discovered when one user asked the site for tips on some actually interesting and valid examples.
The Redditors predictably delivered, and then some. So naturally, I decided to take the tests and find out if they could teach me anything about myself. To my surprise, I did learn a few things. I learned that I'm neurotic and prone to mood swings (OK, sure). I learned that it's important when my boyfriend hugs me. And most importantly, I learned that I should look into modeling, despite just being average-looking by society's arbitrary beauty standards. (None of that sounds like it's not the description of a Gryffindor, right?)
Want to get in on the fun, or at least stealthily judge my results? Check out the tests below!
1. The Big Five Personality Test
The Redditor who posted this one said that they initially learned about the test in their psychology class. It taught me some things I knew (I love and appreciate art), some things I didn't (wow, I'm neurotic compared to other people!), and some things I kind of suspect are wrong. (Is wanting to be the center of attention really the same thing as extroversion? I consider myself an introverted performer-type, and I'm really not sure.) Other psychologists seconded the validity of these tests, but as one user pointed out, they do seem to use a lot of "Barnum statements" in their results — that is, the sort of vague phrases that horoscopes use which could apply to anyone.
2. Mojo Upgrade
This test shows you and your partner a list of common fetishes, and lets you know which ones you'd both be interested in trying while hiding from each other the ones you disagree on. The thinking is that it's a good way to discover common fetishes without the embarrassment of bringing up something your partner just isn't that into. I couldn't try this one because my partner is at work — and if my mom is reading this, I'm also totally a virgin.
3. The O*Net Interest Profiler
This test from the Department of Labor tells people what jobs match their interests (you might have taken it in high school). I like it because it basically said I should be a model. (Along with other jobs, including journalist!)
4. This Trippy Way To Test For Schizophrenia
Apparently, people with schizophrenia aren't fooled by the optical illusion in that rotating Charlie Chaplin mask — they'll see the back of the mask as concave. But people without schizophrenia (unless they are high or drunk) will see the back of the mask as a normal, convex face, even though it isn't. Isn't that unusual? Also, according to this test, I am not schizophrenic or drunk or high currently, in case you are wondering.
5. The Five Love Languages
According to the author of this test, a lot of disagreements in romantic relationships occur because partners express love in different ways. This test finds out what your "love language" is, so that you can compare it to your partner's. Apparently, my love language is "physical touch." Which makes sense, as I am very into hand-holding. (But not PDA in general, mind you; just discrete physical forms of reassuring affection.) I'm now eagerly waiting to learn the love language of my boyfriend, who tells me he's embarrassed to take this test at work.
Check out more fun tests over at AskReddit. You know you want to. Who can resist an online quiz that's actually backed by science?
Images: Nicolas LeGruiec/Flickr