Putting minds to the test

Psychology: A number of Web sites offer fun assessments of IQ, personality type and other traits

August 16, 1999|By Bill Husted | Bill Husted,Cox News Service

You'd have to be crazy to spend as much time as most of us do online.

Or are you?

Well, maybe you'd better find out. The Web is loaded with online psychology tests. The best of the sites will warn you that, while these tests are interesting, they are no substitute for a professional. But, with that warning in mind, taking online tests can be fun and -- occasionally -- enlightening.

Our first stop today is a site that promises to rate your IQ after an 18-minute test. While it's hard to know just how accurate the test is, it provided scores reasonably close to known scores when several acquaintances tried the test. You'll have to judge the results for yourself and -- if you're smart -- you'll keep a low score to yourself and brag about a high one. The site can be found at www.iqtest. com/welcometest.html. Make sure you have 18 uninterrupted minutes available, since it is a timed test.

If the results of that test upset you, you can get a quick (really quick -- taking this next test should take about 30 seconds) reading on whether you are chronically depressed.

Go to www.onlinepsych. com/public/Mind_Games/depscreen. html and answer the questions. Again, understand that this is a screening test. It won't tell you if you have a psychological problem; it'll just advise you about whether you need to see a professional to find out if you do.

That test is part of a battery of psychological tests you can find at www.onlinepsych.com/public/Mind_Games/. At this site you will find tests for personality type, IQ, career burnout, assertiveness, healthy relationships in your love life, sexuality, jealousy, parenting, overeating you name the issue and likely there's a test for it on this site.

The tests run from the predictable to the really far out.

For instance, there's a test to see if you have a multiple personality disorder. It asks questions such as: "Do you have the experience of finding yourself in a place and having no idea how you got there?" or "Are you told that you sometimes do not recognize friends or family members?"

Another interesting site is run by the University of Indiana's psychology department. At this site you'll not only be able to test your memory, you can compare your results with others who have taken it. It's at www.psych.indiana.edu/(tilde)msteyver/exp/experiments.html.

Another test that you may enjoy evaluates your personality. It's the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and is located at www.keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/newkts.cgi.

A warning with this one: You'll find out if you are patient by nature before completing this test. There are lots of questions here, so be prepared to do a lot of mouse-clicking.

Finally, if you believe that life and success in life are gauged by more than pure intelligence, you may want to take a test that measures a trait called the Emotional Intelligence Quotient at www.utne.com/azEQ.tmpl.

In the opinion of the owner of this site, "Having great intellectual abilities may make you a superb fiscal analyst or legal scholar, but a highly developed emotional intelligence will make you a candidate for CEO or a brilliant lawyer."

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