Monday, May 31, 2010

A quick thought about surveys

In a moment of idleness this morning I found myself taking an online survey which claims to detect one's level of empathy. Sadly all the questions were completely obvious, asking "Do you care about other peoples feelings"over and over again. One questions even goes so far as to ask directly "Are you empathetic". I actually gave up before I got to the end of the survey because I find it impossible to answer questions like this without trying to game the survey - choosing those answers which fit in with my preconceived notion of the outcome of the survey.

My favourite type of survey subjects you to a battery of apparently unrelated questions before astonishing you with an outrageously astute deduction based on the answers.:

Q1. Polar bears are more attractive than ice cream:
Strong Agree (x),  Agree ( ),   Neutral ( ),  Disagree ( ),  Strongly Disagree ( )
.
.
.
.
.
Q20 Which of the following numbers is the most significant:
Zero,  My Paycheck ( ),  Pi( ),   42 (x),  Absolute Zero( )


Congratulations we have assessed you answers and determined that you are  exactly 11 lb overweight.

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