The following are what psychologists call "forced choice" questions. There are only two possible answers to each question and you must choose one of them even if you don't think either is appropriate. Pick the answer that is more likely to apply to your behavior. There are no right or wrong answers. Complete the psychograph quickly. Your first response to a question is likely to be the most honest.
1. Which of the following statements is more characteristic of you?
a) I'm a tense person; I worry about getting things right; I'm more nervous than most people
b) I'm relaxed and easygoing; you can't fight life, so you may as well roll with the punches
2. Do you get depressed a lot?
a) Yes b) No
3. Think about the music you like. Would you say that (a) the beat or (b) the melody is more important to you?
4. If you were learning a new skill, which of the following ways of acquiring knowledge would appeal to you more?
a) reading books and attending lectures on the subject
b) an "experience oriented" approach consisting of field trips, workshops, lab work, and apprenticeship
5. If you were in college, which of these two majors would you select?
a) art or b) math
6. Which of these games would you rather play?
a) scrabble or c) checkers
7. Which statement more accurately describes your behavior?
a) I'm an impulse buyer; when I want something, I get it even if I can't afford it
b) I'm a deliberate shopper; I think about something before I buy it. Sometimes I wait so long that what I want is sold out by the time I decide to buy it. I often talk myself out of things I first thought I wanted.
8. Are you often unsure of your grammar?
a) yes b) no
9. When you learn something new, how does the process usually work?
a) I flounder around until suddenly a light goes on and I get the knack of it; understanding seems to come all at once, as if a curtain had been lifted or a door opened
b) I work gradually, learning one aspect at a time; eventually I begin to understand all the pieces and can put the whole picture together
10. If you had to solve a problem, which would you choose?
a) a crossword puzzle
b) a jigsaw puzzle
11. Do you often have hunches?
a) yes b) no
12. If you could do only one or the other, would you rather
a) read a book?
b) see a movie?
13. Do you often have trouble putting your feelings and opinions into words; do you have trouble expressing what you really mean?
a) yes b) no
14. If you have to park a car parallel to the curb, do you a) usually get it right the first time
b) usually have to pullout at least once and try another time
15. If you were taking a trip and someone were giving you directions would you prefer that he
a) write down the directions, listing the route numbers, turnoffs and landmarks in order
b) show you the route on a map
16. When you're choosing clothes, are you likely to select
a) fabrics with a lot of texture, such as leather, suede, thick wools, silk shirts, corduroy
b) relatively understated fabrics, such as cottons and normal weight suits
17. Do you remember faces well?
a) yes b) no
18. Do you remember people's names well?
a) yes b) no
19. With which of the following statements would you be more likely to agree?
a) there are many things that science will never be able to explain
b) there's a natural law that governs everything; therefore, science should eventually by able to explain things that at first appear to be mysteries
20. Are you a better-than-average athlete?
a) yes b) no
Of the two answers to each question, one is more likely to be chosen by a left-brained person and the other by a right-brained person. Left-brain choices here are indicated by L, right-brain choices by R. Check your answers against this key and then add of your total numbers of L and R Responses
1. (a) L (b) R 11. (a) R (b) L
2 (a) R (b) L 12. (a) L (b) R
3. (a) L (b) R 13. (a) R (b) L
4. (a) L (b) R 14. (a) R (b) L
5. (a) R (b) L 15. (a) L (b) R
6. (a) L (b) R 16. (a) R (b) L
7. (a) R (b) L 17. (a) R (b) L
8. (a) R (b) L 18. (a) L (b) R
9. (a) R (b) L 19. (a) R (b) L
10. (a) L (b) R 20. (a) R (b) L
This psychograph does not break down into precise scoring categories. Brain research is too new a science to have devised any definitive, or predictive tests. However, large amounts of data have been gathered and it is this research that enables us to lay out some guidelines and make some educated judgements. You should therefore think of your answers as indicators of probability.
If you chose 13 or more L answers, it is probable that your brain's left hemisphere exerts the dominant force on your personality. If you chose 13 or more R answers, it is most likely that the right brain dominates. If you ended up with a relative balance between your L and R answers (that is, if you didn't score more than 12 or fewer than 8 in either category), you are in a special middle group below in the balanced brain section.
The left cerebral hemisphere's skills are those that, at least since the Renaissance, have been most favored by Western Civilization. It is analytical, rational and practical. People dominated by the left brain do not long for a mystical union with the cosmos; they just want the facts, ma'am! Because the left brain is almost entirely responsible for all human verbal skills, people in this category tend to be good conversationalists and writers. In fact, when a split-brained patient talks, it's his left brain alone that is speaking to you. Information contained in the right brain cannot be expressed in words, since that hemisphere has the approximate linguistic ability of a three or four years old child.
Most technocrats, scientists, mathematicians, computer experts are left brained. So are lawyers. They use the hemisphere's logic ability to assemble bits of disparate information into a coherent whole. Because they combine linguistic and logical abilities so well, people in this category are often brilliant and witty. But, others come across as driven, nervous and fanatically single-minded. Ralph Nader, for instance, is a classic left-brain man. He is devoted to a single goal and allows virtually no outside interests to interfere.
People dominated by their right brains tend to be intuitive and emotional. They take a Holistic approach to life; they sense things all at once and don't like to get bogged down in details. They see the gestalt of things, instinctively absorbing the subtle connections and relationships that make up their sphere of consciousness. There is considerable evidence that creativity is centered in the right brain. So is spatial perception. Consequently, most artists are right-brain people.
Even science at its most creative levels seems to be right brain, according to Einstein's statement when he said that most of his important discoveries came to him as images, in pictures, not words. Only after he had the inspiration, did he go back and let his left brain work out the linguistic and mathematical descriptions of his discoveries.
Right brain people also have a deep-seated musical sense. Alexander Luria of Moscow's Burdenko Institute (he is one of the world's most famous brain specialists) once treated a patient, a composer, whose left hemisphere had been incapacitated by a stroke. The man couldn't say a word, but with his unaffected right brain he went on composing as well as before. The exception to this rule is the professional musician. Rather than creating music, he must have extreme technical competence in order to reproduce it accurately. Therefore, he is likely to be left brained.
For him, music is not inspiration or melody but a line of notes, a language, to be put in order by his left brain. Right brained people are also more easily hypnotized. As a group they are more athletic. They are also people who can remember your face but not your name. The face, being an object in space, is remembered by the right brain. The name, a linguistic construct, is stored in the left brain and thus is not so easily retrieved by the right-brained people. People in this category make good Californians;they tend to be laid back and mellow. But their passivity can sometimes disintegrate into withdrawal and depression.
Between the two extremes described above are people whose personalities blend the characteristics of both brain hemispheres. They are nice folks to be around, since they are not likely to exhibit either the extreme single-mindedness of the left-brained types or the terminal hollowness of some right-brainers. Depending upon your career, this will never let the other dominate, neither brain is likely to achieve the full exercise of its talents. yet that limitation may prove a boon in fields that require the skills of the middle-man or the mediator. True, you may never be a great writer, but you may make a hell of an editor. You may not be a great artist, but you may make a smashing success as a gallery owner. You may not be able to design computers, but you may be able to sell them very well. Your ability to match names with faces could be the basis for a promising political career.
One last thing; you should be great at charades, given the balance you have between your right brain, which gives you the manual dexterity, and your left brain, with its linguistic abilities. If you are ever offered a job as a professional charades player, take it - you should go far!