Saturday, January 01, 2005

Arrrgh! Not Another Internet Quiz

From time to time, we see these Internet quizzes making the rounds.  Most of them are pretty silly; some are amusing; a few are slightly informative.  I just encountered one that actually is serious:

Philosophical Health Check
Check your Tension Quotient!

To take the philosophical health check (PHC), go through the statements below, selecting for each one 'agree' or 'disagree'. If not sure, select the response which is closest to your opinion. When you have answered all the questions, click the 'submit' button and the results of your check will be generated.

The test does not really test your "philosophical health;" that would require some sort of value judgment about the validity of your philosophical tenets.  Rather, it tests your values for internal consistency. 

Tension Quotient Score
Tension Quotient = 13%

The average player of this activity to date has a Tension Quotient of 29%.

I don't know that that the result is particularly meaningful, although I was a bit gratified, on a narcissistic level, to find that my responses have greater internal consistency than average.  I also was pleased to see that I am not 100% consistent.  As much as I like computers, I do not want to be one.

It probably is an error to equate internal consistency with philosophical health.  However, it is interesting, and possibly even useful, to check one's beliefs for internal consistency, and think about the conflicts that are revealed.