Something that really bugs me about those mainstream womenâ€™s magazines are those quizzes which shovel every reader into a pigeonhole based on a numeric value ascertained by dumb questions. Usually along the lines of â€œare you good in bed?â€ or â€œis your career stalling?â€ they offer the unsuspecting a reader a summary and sage advice from someone who is presumably Hugh Hefner. Stereotypes are often true generally, but individually, rarely are. So to force us into a stereotype and, worse, make a judgement on it, based on a multiple choice quiz is a half-step from astrology and a quarter-step from pointless.
Which is precisely why itâ€™s hilarious fun to make a skeptic one! What better way to parody dumbass quizzes while also acknowledging that theyâ€™re curiously fun to take? Without further ado, I presentâ€¦
Are You a Red-Hot Skeptic?
1. Do you have a beard?
A: Yes, a full beard
B: Yes, a goatee or other small beard
C: No, but I used to have one
D: No, I have never had a beard
2. Do you think Phil Plait is hot?
A: Yes (I am a man)
B: Yes (I am a woman)
C: No (I am a man)
D: No (I am a woman)
3. Your colleague forwards an email that looks like an urban legend. Do you
A: Immediately check it on Snopes then hit â€˜Reply To Allâ€™ with the link and a witty but biting comment?
B: Check it on Snopes and reply only to the colleague?
C: Google it for your own curiosity but say nothing.
D: Forward it to everyone you know with the comment â€œOMG!!! SCARY!!â€.
4. Which of these books is your ideal holiday read?
A: Carl Saganâ€™s The Demon-Haunted World
B: Douglas Adamsâ€™ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
C: Dale Carnegieâ€™s How to Win Friends and Influence People
D: Sylvia Browneâ€™s Contacting Your Spirit GuideÂ
5. Have you met Michael Shermer?
A: I am Michael Shermer
B: Yes I have met Michael Shermer
C: No I have not met Michael Shermer
D: Who is Michael Shermer?
6. Your friends regard you as
A: A know-it-all cynic who always bangs on about evidence and logical fallacies
B: A smartypants who likes to know the facts before deciding
C: A knowledgeable person who keeps their opinions to themselves until appropriate
7. You are lying in bed and you feel an eerie chill. Do you
A: Call a glazier
B: Call the dog
C: Call a TV crew
D: Call your agent
8. You meet a man who claims he can speak to your dead relatives. Do you
A: arrange a double-blind test, an application to the Million Dollar Challenge, and close examination by Richard Wiseman
B: arrange a quick trip to the nearest shrink
C: arrange his face into a bloodier one
D: arrange a six-figure book deal with you as co-author
Mostly Aâ€™s: Congratulations! You are a Red-Hot Skeptic. Your credentials are assured and you can take your place amongst such luminaries as That Guy Who Debunked That Thing, and Those People With That Useful Website.
Mostly Bâ€™s: You have work to do but can consider yourself a Simmering Skeptic. Spending more time reading Skepchick will warm you up in no time, as would wearing pants for once.
Mostly Câ€™s: Youâ€™re a Lukewarm Skeptic, but your brain is in the right place. Try reading a few more of the skeptic classics and spend less time watching Doctor Who.
Mostly Dâ€™s: You are Sylvia Browne. And you lied on the beard question.