Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Short psychological test

Psychological research (sample 3,500 - mostly students as usual) that you can easily try for yourself. Answer a 3-question test, and see what it predicts about you. Read amn account of the full study here.

But first, try the 3-question test.

1 - A bat and ball cost £1.10, the bat costs £1 more than the ball. What does the ball cost?
2 - It takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets. How long does it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
3 - A patch of pond weed doubles in size every day. It takes 48 days to cover the pond. How many days to cover half the pond?

A - 5 pence, 5 minutes, 47 days

This doesn't really work if you have already heard the same questions before. It is not really an IQ test, it's an impatience/caution test. A wrong answer to each question suggests itself very rapidly, but a more cautious controlled person will test the answer for a second and therefore get the right one.

But - get all three right and you are more likely to be a risk taker. Here's why:

High scorers are less likely to pay for quick delivery of an item (say books from Amazon) and more likely to choose £3,800 in a month than £3,400 today. In other words they show caution and conservation.

However, high scorers are also more likely to take risks. For example - would you rather take £500, or a 15% chance of winning £1 million? High scorers on the test are more likely to take that chance. The article I have linked to calls this 'greater risk taking behaviour'. However I think that - like the amazon delivery choice or 'wait a month get an extra £400' - this is not risk-taking so much as deferred gratification. I can turn my back on £500 to have a chance at £1 million.

And it's complex. A person with less chances in life might take the £500 now, because £500 might be a terrific sum to a poor person, and he might never get that chance again. It doesn't mean he's irrational.

High scoring women, by the way, showed high levels of 'patience' (for instance waiting for delivery rather than pay) but much lower levels of 'risk taking' (they were more inclined than men to take the £500). I personally feel this is because women on average have less financial and physical security. It may be because risk taking is rewarded in men, but disapproved of in women.
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic