The Quiz to Find Your Quiz

Over the course of the twentieth century, personality quizzes shifted from the realms of psychology and science to those of self-help and entertainment. In the process, their pop-cultural forms multiplied exponentially from simple yes-or-no questions to quizzes based on more com-plicated disciplines, such as psychology and mathematics. Instead of being administered by a professional, or relying on an overarching dogma (helpfully shaking the woo-woo reputation of birth charts or palmistry in the process), the American personality test combines individualist notions of self-improvement with our appetite for fun. The dismissively gendered reputation of these quizzes as fluffy and adolescent belies the existential questions they often pose: Who am I? What do I want? Does how I seem match how I feel?

—Megan Reid

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