I’m a sucker for personality quizzes, as my Myers-Briggs book recommendations demonstrate. And the MBTI is not alone: the history of psychiatry and psychology is peppered by many other personality quizzes and tests, that are taken extremely seriously by professionals, and others that are just fun. Psychobook: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories edited by Julian Rothenstein with an Introduction by novelist Lionel Shriver of We Need to Talk About Kevin fame, gathers many of those quizzes in one spot, and is being released today.
We’re lucky at Flavorwire to be publishing a series of gorgeous inkblot tests from the book that will get you staring and wondering at your desk. Do you see sex everywhere, or death, or perhaps your mother? Read on.
“What Do You See? What Does It Mean?” is excerpted from Psychobook: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories edited by Julian Rothenstein with an Introduction by Lionel Shriver, history by Oisín Wall, and commentaries by Mel Gooding, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2016) All images from “What Do You See? What Does It Mean?” courtesy of Redstone Press collection. Readings imagined by Will Hobson.
(Whole image) Aerial view of a roast chicken
Like anyone, you can have doubts about what you’re doing, but essentially you feel very centered and clear about what you need. Alienation is not your thing; passionate engagement is. Speculation about the meaning of life bores you. As Chekhov said, “That is like asking, ‘What is a carrot?’ A carrot is a carrot, and nothing more is known about it.”
(Whole image) A screaming, slightly cartoonish cat that has seen something shocking
You like to get stuck in and work things out as they come up, hence your loud, tempestuous side. It is very important for you to be listened to, to feel someone is on your side. Negotiation and conflict are facts of life as far as you’re concerned, so although you are not abrasive at heart, you can come across that way. You can sometimes remind people of the old joke: How many New York cab drivers does it take to change a lightbulb? What’s it to ya?
(Upside down) Someone in a wig,
a judge, or a faceless woman
You set yourself high standards and expect others to do the same. You’re unconvinced that patience is a virtue. As Picasso said, “You do it first, then someone else does it pretty.”
(Upside down) A woman has clubbed her husband to death with a pair of frozen hams
Like the Neapolitans, you think, “Un amore non è bello, se non che la fizzaricello” (Love’s no good unless some sparks fly). All the fun is in the kissing and making up, although you try not to go to sleep on an argument.
(Whole image) Someone’s jaws
being approached by the forceps of
a sinister doctor
Life isn’t meant to be easy, and people can’t always be expected to get along. You feel you just have to be yourself and if people can’t handle that, well, as they say in Barbados, “The eggshell have no right at the hard rock dance.”
(White space inside image) A rocket or tower, specifically the dark tower of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings
You work extremely hard, constantly setting yourself new challenges in an attempt to become stronger. You get a lot done and are highly appreciated professionally. The message in your private life may be that you need to lighten up and not be so controlling. You file this neatly in your “To Do” folder.