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    « Averting Catastrophe Thoughts (2-29-2004) | Main | Vacation Pictures, Part I »

    March 01, 2004



    What about the one where they show you a picture. Its a guy behind some kind of counter, maybe a ticket booth at a horse track. A cash register, and a guy in front, the customer, with one arm raised, finger pointed, mouth open. Perhaps he pissed off? We are then told to tell us what this is (a stupid line drawing you dolt!).

    The one about the married girl. I think they used this one in school and a lot of girls said odd things about "one would do anything for the beloved". Its really a question with no right answer. A logical or rational person trys to come up with a "right answer" perhaps just to impress or guess what the teacher is thinking (which isnt what you want to be doing). The more bizzare the answer, its questionable. I got this one on a dumb job application:

    I'll go against the group even if it makes me unpopular.

    Iron Lungfish

    I thought the test for being psychotic was the one where you stare at the glowing dots and they ask you all the questions: "You're walking in a desert. You see a turtle on the ground..."


    I thought it would be something like "sister turns out to be married to dream man, so woman offs sister to get dream man".

    Seems fairly dubious as a psychological test. Even though I guess I failed. I am not a psychopath. Ah well. Will have to develop another career plan.


    Just as another datum, I imagined that he was her sister's husband, and she had to off her sister for him to become available. But that's only about a quarter as twisted as the "correct" answer.


    Looks like I have no future as a serial killer. I thought it was her father and she took a couple days after pill to abort her sister/daughter. Nevermind that sex isn't established that early in a pregnancy and that there is no such thing as a couple days later pill (is there?). I guess I fail as a logitician, as well.

    lex icon

    I make no representations, guarantees or warranties. As a person who graduated just six units shy of a minor in psychology, I must admit that I never read this story in any of my texts. However, (i) I said "supposedly" (I would say allegedly, but that is too lawyerlike) twice in the comment precisely because I am dubious myself; (ii) the story is funny nonetheless; and (iii) half of what I learned in my psych courses (e.g., anal-retentiveness) fell into the pseudoscience category anyway.

    If this is the psychiatric version of the Stella Awards, que sera sera.

    Bird Dog

    I came up with some implausible convoluted Agatha Christie type plot. Never mind.


    I've seen this before. As a psychologist, I think the bit about using this question as a diagnostic test for psychopathy is nonsense.

    In the first place, I've only ever encountered this "test" online, and never (for example) in a forensic psychiatry textbook.

    In the second place, the idea of a one-question test for a complex psychiatric disorder is ridiculous.

    In the third place, it's not as if psychopathy is exactly difficult to diagnose by means of a clinical interview and detailed history. Why would they need a trick question?

    In the fourth place, psychopaths aren't well-known for being able to identify other people's feelings and emotions, so it would be odd if you could identify them by using a test that requires the interpretation of another person's mental state.

    In the fifth place, given a restricted range of data about an extremely morbid story, for which only a gruesome explanation makes any kind of sense, some number of creative people are going to come up with that explanation. There's no non-creepy way to answer the "test," is there? It's a creepy story.

    If all you meant to do by posting this was to provide your friends with an innocently creepy experience, the kind of thing that sends shivers down your spine, my apologies. I just really hate this kind of psychological pseudoscience, and I think it does much more harm than good.



    Retro Girl

    Watch your back--I answered this correctly, which means I'm a very smart psychopath ;) .

    lex icon


    She was hoping that the man would attend her sister's funeral.

    If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath.

    Supposedly, this is a test psychiatrists have used to determine whether one has the same mentality as a killer. Supposedly, many serial killers who took part in this test answered it correctly.

    If you didn't answer correctly, good.

    If you got it right away, please keep your distance.

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