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Monday, April 2, 2012

Character Quiz: Snapshot of Life

While browsing the internet in my office (purely research-related, of course), I stumbled upon this simple little quiz from 1991 to assess a person's current thoughts about their life. It's a nice little snapshot of how a person might feel about themselves in a variety of areas, which I'll go into after I post the quiz.

I thought it might be nice for writers to get a quick sense of where their character is at the beginning of a book as opposed to where they end up at the end.

Current Thoughts Scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991)

This is a questionnaire designed to measure what you are thinking at this moment. There is, of course, no right answer for any statement. The best answer is what you feel is true of yourself at this moment. Be sure to answer all of the items, even if you are not certain of the best answer. Again, answer these questions as they are true for you RIGHT NOW.

Using the following scale, place a number in the box to the right of the statement that indicates what is true for you at this moment:

1 = not at all     2 = a little bit     3 = somewhat     4 = very much     5 = extremely

1.    I feel confident about my abilities.                                                      P
2.*  I am worried about whether I am regarded as a success or failure.    S
3.    I feel satisfied with the way my body looks right now.                   ☐ A
4.*  I feel frustrated or rattled about my performance.                         ☐ P
5.*  I feel that I am having trouble understanding things that I read.        ☐ P
6.    I feel that others respect and admire me.                                    ☐ A
7.*  I am dissatisfied with my weight.                                                        A
8.*  I feel self-conscious.                                                                            S
9.    I feel as smart as others.                                                                      P
10.*  I feel displeased with myself.                                                            S
11.    I feel good about myself.                                                                   A
12.    I am pleased with my appearance right now.                                    ☐  A
13.*  I am worried about what other people think of me.                          ☐  S
14.    I feel confident that I understand things.                                           P
15.*  I feel inferior to others at this moment.                                             S
16.*  I feel unattractive.                                                                             A
17.*  I feel concerned about the impression I am making.                        S
18.*  I feel that I have less scholastic ability right now than others.         P
19.*  I feel like I’m not doing well.                                                           P
20.*  I am worried about looking foolish.                                                 S

Note: The statements with an asterisk are reversed-scored items, so if your character (or you) scored a 5 on #19, then you would score it as a 1, a 4 would be a 2, and 3 stays the same.

The letter beside the box indicates the three factors that are actually being measured, which will give you some insight into your character's performance self esteem (P), social self-esteem (S) and appearance self-esteem (A).

To score, add up all the answers for each subgroup of P, S, and A. This will give you 3 scores, and the higher they are, the better your character's current thoughts are in that category.

Let's Analyze: This quiz analyzes a person's performance, social, and appearance self-esteem. These are pretty big ticket items when it comes to internal knots for our characters. What other "biggies" might you want me to unearth a quiz for?