Archive for the ‘diagnosis and screening’ Category

Psych Central has developed a test purporting to give you a sanity score, with useful-looking subscores.  There is some actual science behind this, which looks pretty reasonable – they’re doing the standard appropriate things you do with tests, like make sure the questions you mean to measure the same thing are all measuring the same thing, and are similar to questions from other tests that have been shown to measure what they mean to measure reasonably well.

It looks like their plan is get lots of people so that they can estimate for any given person where they lie in comparison to the rest of the population.  Note that this is not the same thing as the DSM, which gives criteria by which to diagnose people.

It’s still in beta, meaning that they don’t have a big enough sample to be comfortable with their numbers yet.  Also, although they don’t mention this, keep in mind that it’s a test that people who are curious about how sane they are will opt to take, and not a test that your average joe will necessarily be interested in.  So, on average, they may have people who are less sane than the general population.   If that’s true, then people who take it will look saner than they would compared to the average joe.

I got a 47 of 288, which they say is “good mental health” – somewhat saner than I was expecting.

It reminds me of an Ursula Le Guin short story (“SQ,” in the collection The Compass Rose) about a  sanity quotient test.  Everyone over 50 got committed, which meant eventually everyone in the entire world, except for the narrator.

And that reminds me of the part from one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy novels where a character has built a sanitarium to enclose the entire world.

Although I don’t think either of those relate to this – it sounds more likely to say that people saner than they are, than to say that people are crazier than they are.