Category Archives: Quizzes

Personality Test for Writers

I stumbled upon a test to assess what sort of personality you have as a writer.

The first question is what sort of writer do you think you are? I guessed Savvy Writer, but I was wrong, for apparently I’m an Eternal Writer:

Of all the writers, you have the strongest most comprehensive grasp of the writing craft. Consequently, others don’t appreciate how hard you work at it. You make it look easy!

I don’t know about that…most of the time I feel like this:

How Aggressive Are You?

An article about the Buss-Perry Aggression test appeared in my newsletter:

The questionnaire: http://

My scores were:

Physical aggression: 0.18

Verbal aggression: 0.36

Hostility: 0.50

Anger: 0.22

I’d argue that a certain amount of aggression is needed to grind away at the more onerous tasks involved in writing, such as editing and querying—even if it’s aimed at yourself in a restrained way. Wimps don’t get published!

What are your scores?

Are You A Psycho?

The term ‘psycho’ is often used to describe murderers who behave in an irrational and bloodthirsty way. Alfred Hitchcock’s film helped the word to enter the public consciousness. People use the term when someone loses their temper, but true psychopathy isn’t widely understood.

I wrote a novel called ‘The Perfect Murderer’ in 2014, in which one of the lead characters is a psychopath. He’s a respected member of the establishment but has killed a victim a year for four decades. I toyed with the sympathies of the reader, as he killed only villains, usually nasty criminals who society was better off without. Most people would secretly approve of his activities.

The genesis for the novel was partly inspired by reading Jon Ronson’s ‘The Psychopath Test’, a couple of years ago. He’s best known as the author of ‘Men Who Stare At Goats’, that was made into a movie.

Much of his book on psychopaths deals with the invidious DSM manual put together by the American Psychiatric Association, and which is used to ‘diagnose’ a bewildering range of mental disorders – most of them are phoney. For instance, anyone who spends more than a few hours a day online could be labelled as having Internet Addiction Disorder. The whole enterprise is tied to the activities of drug companies, who market medication to treat the ‘condition’, adding to their vast profits.

Ronson also writes about the Hare test for psychopathy, a well-respected diagnostic checklist which is much-used to identify those with this disorder.

It’s worth doing, though as with any questionnaire there’s always a certain amount of ambiguity when it comes to interpreting what the question actually means. I scored 4 when I last did it.

In fact, psychopaths only make up 1% of the general population. They are often very successful, at least in terms of money, fame and power, becoming film stars, singers, captains of industry, politicians, bankers, lawyers, doctors and sportsmen. But when things go wrong, look at the disaster that befalls the rest of us!

Just think of the collapse of the world economy, the recent sex scandals in the U.K. and such stories as cyclist Lance Armstrong cheating by using performance-enhancing drugs. He still doesn’t see that he did anything wrong, lacking the empathy to appreciate the damage that he did to people’s faith in who they thought he was. His latest lies about drink-driving only confirm his lack of character. He has no shame because he can’t understand the concept.

The recently convicted paedophiles are apparently the same way, with Rolf Harris trying to get the length of his sentence reduced. It’s a chilling thought to realise that many of the people we admire, who are seen as role models, praised for their achievements, focus and determination are actually rather repulsive as human-beings.

Although they walk among us largely without causing disruption, psychopaths represent about 20% of the population in prisons. They’re also responsible for causing more disruptive incidents while inside, and the likelihood of their re-offending is a depressing 85%.

I should point out that simply being a psychopath is not illegal, any more than being depressed, schizophrenic or bipolar is against the law. Mind you, the old expression ‘the lunatics are running the asylum’ might be more accurate than it first appears.



What Sort Of Person Are You?

There are various ways of assessing personality, but one of the more accurate tests is the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator.

I’ve introduced friends to the test, and they agreed with the results – as did I, knowing them well. This version of it is quick and easy to do. It took me about twelve minutes.

I’m of the ENFJ group, which doesn’t surprise me given my sensitive and artistic personality (honest!)

Some employers use disguised adaptations of the test when interviewing job candidates, to help find people with the behavioural characteristics they’re after. This is rather more reassuring than firms that use graphology to analyse job applicants’ handwriting. This supposed science has been repeatedly shown to be spurious, but amazingly 30% of human resources officers still use it in the U.K. and U.S.A. It’s even more widely used in France, where a bewildering 80% of employers regularly checking their staff’s handwriting.

If you’d like to know more about Myers-Briggs, have a look at the Wikipedia page for them :

Image result for briggs-meyer personality test cartoon