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Like tarot or astrology
March 5, 2002 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Like tarot or astrology in that it's a tool for introspection, only without the occult trappings. Kinda fun to play with, though. Or maybe not. (Warning: annoying The Weakest Linkesque music.)
posted by alumshubby (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Oh. My. God.
Scarily accurate - far too accurate for me to repeat it here. H-H-How do they do it?
posted by dash_slot- at 7:06 AM on March 5, 2002


Opposite reaction, dash; this is one of several "color personality tests" I've seen on the Web. They use the same method (keep picking colors from the set), and they all seem to create a fuzzy profile which, like a fortuneteller's spiel, provides a proliferation of details upon which one could hang an interpretation and a lot of room for interpretation.

It's telling that there's never an attempt at explanation of how this "works." What's interesting to me is why these are so compelling (I mean, I suspected it'd be nonsense, but I took the test anyway...)
posted by BT at 7:23 AM on March 5, 2002


I had a Psychology 101 professor that once taught me a interesting lesson about personality analysis.

He had the entire class take an extensive, 50-question personality examination. The next day, our personalized results were handed back to us, and mine seemed to explain me very accurately. He then asked us to raise our hands if we felt it was at least 80% correct. Most of the class' hands went up. Then he asked us to exchange profiles with our neighbor.

Everyone had been given the same profile.

That said, I'm still an avid believer in Astrology; I just acknowledge that one has to be rigorously skeptical about these things.
posted by Pinwheel at 7:32 AM on March 5, 2002 [1 favorite]


Agreed, BT. For me the results were either vague or inaccurate. I do concur however with part of Alumshubby's original statement: once removed from the mystical, things like tarot and astrology can be used as tools for introspection. They are useful for giving one a new perspective of oneself beyond simply looking in the mirror. One bounces one's life events and perceptions of same at the tool and it offers impressions. Though narcisistic, it's cheaper than a shrink, but still won't give the lottery numbers for next weekend.

In theory, this color personality test could also be used as a tool for self-introspection, but in my experience Tarot is actually more "accurate."
posted by ZachsMind at 7:32 AM on March 5, 2002


Put me down on the "scarily accurate" side, though I'm sure BT and Pinwheel are right. But does self-knowledge lead to change or stasis? Or is that not the point?
posted by tommasz at 7:39 AM on March 5, 2002


ZachsMind: I used the "tools for introspection" phrase advisedly, as I've relied used tarot and horoscopes that way for years. Just as an example, the color profile I ran yesterday eerily pointed out some frustrations with my work situation, but then, it occurred to me that...they'd already occurred to me.

Pinwheel: My father used to scoff at the newspaper horoscopes: "You mean that applies to one-twelfth of humanity?" Not only that, but last night my wife ran a Colorgenics profile and said, "That doesn't apply to me at all."

tommasz: I think this kind of objective introspection can lead to change, but it's like the old joke "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one -- but the light bulb has to want to change."

(My own motto is the rhetorical question "How many light bulbs does it take to change a person?")
posted by alumshubby at 8:00 AM on March 5, 2002


ZachsMind: I used the "tools for introspection" phrase advisedly, as I've relied used tarot and horoscopes that way for years. Just as an example, the color profile I ran yesterday eerily pointed out some frustrations with my work situation, but then, it occurred to me that...they'd already occurred to me.

Pinwheel: My father used to scoff at the newspaper horoscopes: "You mean that applies to one-twelfth of humanity?" Not only that, but last night my wife ran a Colorgenics profile and said, "That doesn't apply to me at all."

tommasz: I think this kind of objective introspection can lead to change, but it's like the old joke "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one -- but the light bulb has to want to change."

(My own motto is the rhetorical question "How many light bulbs does it take to change a person?")
posted by alumshubby at 8:01 AM on March 5, 2002


Oh, dammit.
posted by alumshubby at 8:02 AM on March 5, 2002


see also
posted by Dean King at 8:16 AM on March 5, 2002


Additional discussion on this thread from last December.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:16 AM on March 5, 2002


ohfergod'ssake. Dean, quit, you're making me look bad ;)
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:17 AM on March 5, 2002


Mondo Bizzarro;

Paragraph one relates perfectly - and specifically - to a relationship breakup I had 2 weeks ago after a betrayal.

Paragraph two relates perfectly - and specifically - to a diet and weight-training program I've been hammering on for the last 3 weeks after years of couch-potatoing.

Paragraph three relates perfectly - and specifically - to a work problem I have an appointment to talk with my boss about this afternoon.

The rest is even more personal, but is more than in line with what I know about myself and my current situations.

Ok... I'm officially freaked out, now.
posted by Perigee at 8:22 AM on March 5, 2002


Dean King, Sapphireblue: Apologies...I did a search for this before posting -- no hits. OTOH, I'm enjoying watching the response this is getting, so I'm not too broken up about my inadvertent redundancy wasting bandwidth.
posted by alumshubby at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2002


BTW, alumshubby and Zachsmind, I agree that there are non-scientific things like Tarot that can be useful for self-examination; in fact, I think that the Tarot is really kind of cool, though I don't believe that there's anything mystical about it (or at least, not at noon on a sunny day) -- I guess what I mean is that this color thing isn't in the same league. Tarot and even astrology comes with a whole language and narrative structure and even a poetics: like it or hate it, it offers something to wrestle with, something to dig into. You can read the Tarot deck sort of like a poem-generator for creating provocative statements about life, etc; the symbolic language is rooted in themes which have some meaning: birth, death, dreams, power, love and lust...again, not expressed in a symbolic language interesting to everybody, but certainly there for some.

Its the "colorlessness" of this which makes me compare it negatively -- other than a bland diagnosis, what does it offer? I need something more to get introspective juice out of.
posted by BT at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2002


I think that each "introspective tool" speaks to each person in some manner. For me, astrology is useful and fills the bill, but I always keep a healthy skepticism in mind, as pinwheel suggests. For my husband, Tarot does the trick; he gets uncannily and sometimes frighteningly accurate readings when he throws the cards. The color thing is intriguing and you do wonder how it works, but its results seem to paint everyone with pretty broad strokes (pun intended :D).
posted by Lynsey at 11:11 AM on March 5, 2002


I tried a simple experiment:

I did the first test according to the instructions. I thought hard, and took my time to select the cube whose colour I felt most 'in harmony' with.

For the next two tests, I tossed a coin. Heads, I went with the four cubes on the left. Tails, I went with the four on the right. I kept flipping the coin til I had a single cube (heads/tails top/bottom row, heads/tails left/right cube), generating a (hopefully) random selection.

For the record, my first non-random test result was this; the first random one gave this, and the second this.

I went through the results, asking myself whether I strongly agreed, agreed, neither agreed nor disagreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statements made. A statement said something about me or my state of mind. I didn't count advice like 'take things slowly' or 'take a deep breath and relax' as statements. I tried to split up compound statements (so 'you have some excellent ideas / but you persist in trying to persuade others just how great your ideas really are' would count as two statements). It was tricky sometimes.

The first test result made 18 statements. I strongly agreed with 11 of them, agreed with 3 of them, was ambivalent about 1, disagreed with 2 and strongly disagreed with 1.

The second made 13 statements (the entire third paragraph was advice or generalisations). I strongly agreed with 5, agreed with 1, disagreed with 4 and strongly disagreed with 3.

The third made 20 statements. I strongly agreed with 4, agreed with 5, was ambivalent about 1, disagreed with 6 and strongly disagreed with 4.

In short, I strongly agreed or agreed with 77% of statements made in the first test (the non-random one), 46% of the second and 45% of the third. The first test also had the highest level of 'strong agreement' (61% vs 38% and 20%), and the lowest rate of strong disagreement (5% vs 23% and 20%).

Make of all that what you will :)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:30 PM on March 5, 2002


Damn boy... someone has too much time on their hands...
posted by spidre at 6:07 PM on March 5, 2002


I felt about 30% more agreement with my opposite colors than I did with my natural colors. I wasn't as scientific about it as obiwanwasabi, but you get the idea.

In otherwords, I say hogwash.
posted by Ptrin at 6:19 PM on March 5, 2002


I'm surprised no one mentioned the spelling error in the intro screen.
Accurate, yes, but it's not amazing if it tells you what you already know.
posted by Nyx at 10:23 PM on March 5, 2002


It's not quite hogwash, but it shouldn't be seen as something mystical, was just what I was trying to say earlier in too many words. And I think some people misunderstood me.

It's like the Oblique Strategies thing (which I think rocks more than any of these other tools of introspection). You look at the information provided and instead of checking to see whether or not it says something to you that makes sense, you just try to apply it to yourself, or the projects you're working on.

Oblique Strategies is tarot reading for engineers, basically. Much more fun than color picking. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 11:48 AM on March 6, 2002


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