New this month from the Redstone Press is their Psychobox: a fascinating collection of psychological tricks and tests, which includes 48 cards which variously illustrate inkblot tests, drawing completion tests, what-comes-next tests, optical illusions, etc. On the reverse of the cards are notes and commentaries on the images, and a number of text-based tests. Also in the box are an introductory pamphlet, and a piece of ‘reverse perspective’ artwork by Patrick Hughes.
Turning through the brain-molesting material on the cards made me grateful that I’ve never had to undergo much in the way of psychological testing myself. The most irksome such I ever had to do involved a list of 400 statements requiring yes/no responses, this part of a whole battery of tests I was obliged to complete further to a job-application I was ultimately unsuccessful in pursuing. I was reminded of this by one of the cards in the Psychobox listing similar statements, for example: I am not afraid of toads; My father could be described as dominating; People who do not know me hesitate before shaking my hand; I am sometimes fearful without any particular reason; People who are jealous of me have hindered my career; I am not afraid of going to my doctor… To these, by the way, I would reply yes; no; no; no; no; and yes - unless one counts dentists.
Another of the cards in the Psychobox has a ‘complete the following sentences’ test. Here are my answers to the first half-dozen of these:
To be honest, I found it inordinately difficult to think of an answer for that sixth question. The Psychobox’s editor Mel Gooding comments, with regard to this test that ‘it is not surprising that for some subjects [it] induces anxiety.’
One last test that I’ll mention here is that where the subject is required to write a story guided by a sequence of questions: You enter a wood: is it dark or light?; Is there a path, or is way forward blocked?, etc. Ones responses are supposed to indicate ones underlying attitudes to issues symbolised in the story. A few years ago I tried my hand at one such that I happened upon during my internet browsing: here is the result.