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Some psych exam quizzes suck

Pinkie B

Just Me
Hi All. Just need to rant here. I'm doing research on Learned Optimism - the cognitive behavioral technique by Martin Seligman in the hopes that I can help my boyfriend work through some of his anxiety. It has some exercises in it that I've done and they're pretty helpful.

Along the way I found a test for depression/optimism/pessimism for kids which turns out to make more sense to me than the one for adults and I started answering it. It's called the CASQ if you want to look it up. So it has these questions and you have to pick ONE response and they go like:

18. You almost drown when swimming in a river.
A. I am not a very cautious person
B. Some days I am not a cautious person

You have to pick one. Those are the only options. But here's the catch: I'm an EXTREMELY cautious person! Neither of those is right! Once, I almost DID drown in a river. You wanna know why it happened? Because I was white water rafting and we hit a big boulder and I got thrown in the river. Then I got sucked unter the raft for an unknown amount of time. I came up just fine and I was calm and collective during the whole event. IT HAPPENED BECAUSE WHITE WATER RAFTING IS DANGEROUS AND SOMETIMES YOU FALL IN!!!

Ugh. This is only one question. There's another that says

13. You fail a test
A. My teacher makes hard tests.
B. The past few weeks, my teacher has made hard tests.

*I'm* a teacher. Let me tell you, we don't just randomly make hard tests. We make tests that we think are appropriate for measuring our students. Teach the same material? WRITE THE SAME TEST!!!

If I failed a test it would be because A.) there was an earthquake and the school collapsed or B.) I didn't have enough time to study. Period. Those are the only reasons. Unless it's not a real test and it's just nonsense questions...

How am I supposed to respond to questions like this? They're totally bogus. The instructions say "pick the one that's closest" The one that's closest to what??? THEY'RE BOTH WRONG. There's no variant of false. False is false.

So now I'm halfway through this stupid test (purely for curiousity, but it's not like I haven't had to do these for real in psych offices before) and I want to throw my hands up. I can't just put a random answer in part because I know what the "correct" answer is, so I end up feeling like I'm just making it up.

Ugh. Psychologists are so stupid because they think they're so smart. Isn't it their job to measure people who are mentally divergent?? You'd think they wouldn't be so stupid about it.
It sounds like that particular test is supposed to see what your mind set is. Do you have an all or nothing attitude, where one failure means that you are a horrible person, or do you see everything in moderation? So, I'd go with the answer that you "feel" more than the real answer. I guess that test was made for people who don't take everything literally. And when in doubt, guess and hope for the best!
Yeah, that's the thing. I don't "feel" any of them. I just think they're stupid. I tried translating my actual answer to see if I could find a parallel, but nope. They're just stupid.
And why I can never become a professional psychologist.

I believe to help a person is to talk in a way that is comprensible to them; to "meet" them at their own level.

I use a site called: Yahoo Answers and to satisfy my desire of psychology, I went into that particular subject and goodness me, I had a few emails asking if I am a therapist and if not, I should be.

I do not cope with my fellow sapians; but I sure as heck understand the make up of humans.
This is definitely one of the pitfalls of multiple choice questionnaires. The value of such tests as an actual measure of anything meaningful is kind of questionable.

I think this is particularly true for autistic people, who perhaps tend not to be prone to generalizing out. If an answer is not exactly them or exactly applicable, then each option is equally incorrect :D
I agree with you Pinkie. Tests like these are designed to uncover basic trends in a person's way of thinking. Your answers "suggest" traits that a psychologist might find useful. The real expertise lies with the analysis of the answers. I have always felt that these questions are about a person's general demeanor, attitude, and assessment of the world around us. You are expected to select the answer closest to your reality. The problem comes when you want to give a perfect answer that accurately represents your view without ambiguity. You would feel better if you could nullify certain questions because neither of the answers accurately reflects what goes on in your mind. These tests are not very sophisticated. You are choosing either opposites or degrees of truth. I wish there were options added to rate the question for its applicability to your life, or at least offer more choices beyond the two options, neither of which represents your sentiments or experiences. Without the options, you just choose the one that is opposite of the answer that is the most incorrect. Hopefully, the results of the test will be discussed with you. You'll be able to address your concerns with the professionals who are using your answers in their assessment.

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