This Quiz Tells You How Rational You Really Are

Photographed by Jens Ingvarsson.

Beyond the Meyers-Briggs test lies a fount of other, even more strangely enticing quizzes designed to probe and expose different aspects of your personality. What does your birth order say about your personality? What does your eye color mean? And, perhaps the most telling of all, what does your favorite Hogwarts professor say about your future spouse? Just in case you've gotten to the bottom of all of these questions, the folks over at ClearerThinking have developed a quiz that measures your capacity for rational thinking against that of the average person.

Founded by Spencer Greenberg, a mathematician and entrepreneur, ClearerThinking is set up as a one-stop shop for solving any problems you may have with decision-making and — here's where it all comes together — clearer thinking overall. The site offers quizzes and exercises on different areas of self-improvement, from time-management to boosting your happiness to dealing with the unexpected.

Given the sweeping nature of some of these subjects, certain quizzes take nearly an hour to complete. This one is decidedly on the shorter side, taking about 10 minutes. Over 21 questions, the quiz determines your style of reasoning and decision-making out of 16 different styles. These range from the "Speculator," to the "Strategist," to the "Detective." (This writer, quite fittingly, got sorted as the "Journalist.")

The questions don't get that personal. But then again, that's not really their point. Instead, they're intended to gauge different aspects of your reasoning skills. Based on preexisting research and theories in cognitive science, the quiz tests your quantitative reasoning, future-based reasoning, cognitive awareness, and your ability to evaluate evidence.

While some of the questions are based on specific scenarios, some are as simple as, "How often do you find that your projects and tasks take much longer than you originally anticipated?" Or, "How often do you find yourself unable to refute an argument or line of reasoning, even though you know it's flawed?" Along with these more subjective questions are ones that actually have correct and incorrect answers — don't be shy about grabbing a pen and some paper.

As you make your way through, the test may start to feel more like the SATs than your average, online personality quiz. Don't worry if you find yourself second-guessing your gut instinct on many of the questions. In order to determine the user's decision-making style, the quiz must first identify his or her personal cognitive biases.

"A 'cognitive bias,'" Greenberg explains, "is a systematic pattern of biased or self-defeating judgement... We are all susceptible to cognitive biases, and they can cause us to make bad decisions... The goal of the test is to measure a person's strengths and weaknesses with regard to rationality, and provide actionable ways to improve in those areas where they are most likely to have bias."

After the final question, the quiz tallies up your "total rationality score" out of 100%. Your score is also compared to the median user score, which falls around 60%. So, not only do you learn which of the 16 styles you qualify as, you also see how your results break down numerically compared to others who have taken the quiz. If you're more interested in knowing one of these over the other, you've learned something new about your personality right there. This is also where you'll learn where your cognitive biases lie, and how you can work to correct them, as Greenberg mentioned earlier.

Keep in mind that, although it's interesting (and pretty useful) to see how you measure up as a rational thinker, this quiz is based on preexisting research and isn't the be-all-end-all of your persona. Basically, don't stress. And definitely don't take it as seriously as a more in-depth personality test — whether or not that test involves Hogwarts.
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