I was reading a -woman’s magazine the other day when I was intrigued by the second item I came across. My first interest was, of course, the letter rage to see if ‘Worried Blue-eyes’ was still whooping it up, will that girl never learn? I then turned to the subject of our discourse: the Psychology Quiz. You know the sort of thing:
Q: You meet your aunt Nellie, aged 70, clad only in a bikini, laboriously carrying a bucket of coal up to her room.
Do you:
Help her,
Point out that she has a gas-fire
Tactfully remark that the bikini has now been superseded by the strapless one-piece.
The answer you give earns you so many points e.g. (a) Chivalrous but misguided 1. point, (c) Shows fashion sense, 2. points.
(b) gets 5- points, in the circumstances the most sensible thing to do. Sometimes It is possible to cheat, as the marking system is often printed upside down at the bottom of the page. For the information of magazine editors, this is a foolish subterfuge as I can read upside down, back-to-front or any other form of writing short of actual cypher. What puzzles me is how the Psychologist, in all probability a balding sub-editor with ulcers, reaches his findings. On the strength of your points rating he professes to find that: you are generous to a point of fault but will never-the-less make a good wife and mother, most disconcerting to men readers; you will, after a course of mental hygiene (see next issue) be a pure and noble example to your less fortunate sisters or that you are not really bad but could use a teeny-weeny bit of Self-control. You will notice that he never says ‘You are a bad lot and your children will obviously grow up to be delinquents’. He need have no fear of offending his readers as they are sure to cheat anyway and would probably be pleased at the thought of ‘A Woman of That Type’ being put in her place, the hussy.
I first thought, in my innocence, that the psychologist based his questions and scoring on a careful study of real-life situations but a moments thought shows that this cannot be. How often have you even seen Aunt Nellie in a bikini, let alone carrying coal?
Very seldom, I’ll warrant, and the same must apply to our psychologist. At that rate he would wait a lifetime before he had sufficient material for a quiz. My second theory was that he went about it in a. completely haphazard fashion, selecting questions at random and drawing the answers out of a hat. Careful study, however, shows that this is far too simple an explanation. I have found, that once one has the knack it is possible to secure top rating without once looking at the score sheet. One learns rapidly what answers are expected of one and this presupposes a certain consistency in quizology.
One of the most unfair practices employed, by quizzers, is, to my mind, that of limiting one to given answers. For example:
Q: You find your aged grandmother occupying your favourite armchair. Do you beat her head in with :
A mallet.
A cosh.
A Mashie-Niblick
now this is most unsatisfactory, it completely ignores my favourite

weapon – the Alpenstock. You may decide that the question is inapplicable for various reasons, You may not have a grandmother left or perhaps lack the necessary weapons. Do not, I beg you, just ignore the question without making a corresponding deduction from the maximum possible total. You will falsify your rating and find yourself among the dunces. Deduct five points for each question you are unable to answer and you will find as I did, that you are able to obtain a wonderful rating with a score of 0 out of 0. Which is, of course, 100%.
The Woman’s Magazine quiz is, however, a lighthearted affair compared with those used in all seriousness by ‘Heal’ psychologists. I well remember the peculiar procedure to which I was subjected on involunteering (past participle derived from Involuntary) for the army. The general Idea, apparently, was to discover from my fear-crazed subconscious just what sort of unwilling soldier I really wanted to be. After a series of seemingly inconclusive tests, I was relieved to see my old friend the Quiz. Now I considered myself a dab hand at this game and welcomed it with open arms. It consisted of a cage headed ‘Which would you rather be?’. This was followed by a long list of professions, trades and jobs, rather like this:
Tight-rope walker. Dentist, Mechanic. Bank clerk.
Executioner. Salesman. Striptease artist (that must have crept in from an A.T.S. quiz, whoever heard of a male S.T.A.) Shop assistant.
“Aha.”‘ I thought, and ran through the list like an expert, choosing, cunningly I thought all the most peaceful and unsoldierlike jobs. “That’ll fool ’em!”. Did it hell! – – they put me in the infantry.’