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28 May 2012 @ 11:16 pm
Fannish Psychological Testing  
Recently, Best Beloved and I had the pleasure of being test subjects for [dreamwidth.org profile] rachelmanija. She needed a local couple that had been together at least six months to take a psychological assessment tool, and, well, we have indeed been together for more than six months, which apparently makes us something of a rarity in the greater Los Angeles area. I'm not depressed about that at all.

We filled out the instrument side by side, as instructed, which was a problem because, uh, Best Beloved and I are used to sharing our opinions. (And also asking for clarification. Given that when you're administering these tests, you can't say anything but "Just do the best you can" and "Pick whichever one seems most appropriate" without invalidating them, we are probably the worst subjects ever. Rachel used those sentences a lot. And the thing is, I knew she couldn't clarify, and yet I still wanted her to, which is a problem I have had with psychological tests since, basically, ever. I would just like everything to be clear, okay?) And we had a lot of opinions about that test. So it sort of went like this:

Me, to Best Beloved: Number 26. I mean, not on purpose, but -
Best Beloved: I know! I guess - false?
Rachel: Maybe try to collude a little less?
Us: Sorry.
Best Beloved: 44, though. I can't just do yes or no on that one!
Me: Well, I put true, because it's more true than false, but yeah, I need a scale.
Rachel: You're colluding again.
Us: Sorry.
Me: Oh, god, 81.
Best Beloved: I don't even know. Could go either way. I'm putting false.
Rachel: STOP COLLUDING.

I gather from this that relationship therapists have to spend a lot of time telling their clients to stop talking to each other, which is not how I envisioned it prior to this experience.

But my major take-home from all this was that, frankly, the instrument sucked. It was unclear, it had questions that were absolutes, and it had questions that made me want to write lengthy essays as opposed to circling true or false. (Also, it was hugely biased in favor of heterosexual, monogamous, gendernormative couples, which was no big deal in our case since we were basically taking it for kicks, but makes it much less useful in practice. If you're not straight, or not monogamous, or genderqueer, or in any way not in line with the cultural norm, then finding a relationship therapist is probably fraught with extra stress - like, not only do you have to go in there and deal with your shit, but you also have to go in there and hope the therapist takes your relationship seriously, which has got to just massively suck. And how great would it be, feeling that way, already nervous for all kinds of reasons, to sit down and take this very biased survey that says, "Hey! When I say 'relationship,' I don't mean you." NOT THAT GREAT, I'm guessing.)

Also, the test was just boring. I'm sorry, but people who already have problems should not be subjected to lengthy tests that are roughly as interesting as an eight-part documentary on dryer lint. I could not help it; I was compelled to write some more fannishly oriented questions. So, here you go:

The Fannish Relationship Survey
  1. If I were transported to another universe, I would immediately try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)

  2. If it was an evil mirror universe, I would still try to find my partner's analogue. (T/F)

  3. I would also expect my partner's analogue to find me, even if said analogue had no way of knowing I was there. (T/F)

  4. My partner and I are capable of having complete conversations using only eyebrows, shoulder punches, or awkward, shuffling silences. (T/F)

  5. Other people have sometimes accused my partner and I of being telepathic. (T/F)

  6. If my partner or I were to turn evil, so that we had to spend the next fifty years as mortal enemies, I would still expect us to be there for each other in times of personal crisis. (T/F)

  7. I have brought my partner back from the dead, or my partner has brought me back from the dead. (T/F)

  8. I have sacrificed my life, my sanity, or other people's lives to bring my partner back from the dead, or vice versa. (T/F)

  9. I have remolded reality to protect my relationship. (T/F)

  10. Our souls, or a representation of our souls, have merged. (T/F)

  11. My partner's soul is as much my responsibility as my own. (T/F)

  12. If my partner is ever grievously injured, I will violate hospital protocols, not to mention health and safety regulations, to keep a weeping bedside vigil, even during lifesaving surgery. (T/F)

  13. If I am ever grievously injured, my partner is likely to quit, go catatonic, go berserk, or otherwise become a less than functional member of society. (T/F)

  14. At least one improbable being (mystical creature, copy of me from another dimension, minor deity, etc.) has declared that it is my destiny to be with my partner. (T/F)

  15. Basically the entire universe has declared that it is my destiny to be with my partner. (T/F)

  16. I am fairly sure that if I ever leave my partner, the universe will end. (T/F)

  17. My partner was at some point literally the only boy/girl/other in the world, and neither of us minded. (T/F)

  18. If one of us was transformed into a vampire, that person would immediately transform the other. (T/F)
(Scoring note: One point for every true. Anyone who scores more than 14 on this survey should probably take a different test. One that measures how well in touch you are with reality.)

See? Now there is a test that I would enjoy taking. Although I admit most of the pleasure would come from working with BB to identify all the couples references, which would mean Rachel would have to spend even more time telling us to stop talking to each other. (Eventually, she'd probably have to threaten to put us in separate rooms. The motto of psychological testing is, and always has been, "Stop having fun or I will turn this session around and no one will get any therapy.")

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
X-parrot: kid lokixparrot on May 29th, 2012 06:46 am (UTC)
If my partner or I were to turn evil, so that we had to spend the next fifty years as mortal enemies, I would still expect us to be there for each other in times of personal crisis.

*snicker*

(am really just pretending to snicker to hide the embarrassing squeeing noises I'm emitting)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I squee right along with you. HOW SO ADORABLE, GUYS?
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on May 29th, 2012 07:21 am (UTC)
I can indeed see it here too.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! But LJ, why so weird? I have had all configurations of this bug in the past few months, and it makes me frowny-faced.
Loriel Eris: hee // charmedloriel_eris on May 29th, 2012 07:31 am (UTC)
Although I admit most of the pleasure would come from working with BB to identify all the couples references

Shamefully, I was at 7 before I clicked that these were specific references, not just generic fannish references. I now want to identify them all. *headdesk*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
I am prepared to entertain guesses!
(no subject) - loriel_eris on May 30th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Keswindhoverkeswindhover on May 29th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
Hmm, what does it say about me that I ignored the questions, purely in favour of mentally tracking down the references?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
It says that you are what we call a Researcher Fan. Presumably people also call on you with questions like, "Okay, remember that one episode where they were lost in like - I think it was catacombs. But it might have been caves. Or tunnels. SOMETHING DARK. And they had no radio contact?"
je suis marxiste, tendance Groucho: alice disappointed duchessshinealightonme on May 29th, 2012 08:24 am (UTC)
I gather from this that relationship therapists have to spend a lot of time telling their clients to stop talking to each other, which is not how I envisioned it prior to this experience.

Probably the take-away here is that you two just have too healthy of a relationship.

The Fannish Relationship Survey mostly makes me very nervous for people who would answer true to more than, maybe, one (even if by "people" we mean "fictional characters to whom these situations could reasonably apply"). Like, say, my reaction to 10 is "please be keeping your soul-representations to yourself, okay, that's - that doesn't seem very *sanitary*."

Though I deeply like #6 and am thinking about bringing that up on my next date.
Cristin Anneladysorka on May 29th, 2012 09:32 am (UTC)
But their soul representations merged in order to bring one partner back from the dead! See, sometimes you can you hit two of these at the same time.
(no subject) - malnpudl on May 29th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - windfallswest on May 29th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shinealightonme on May 30th, 2012 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mal: jack dogs by jolinar_x_iconmalnpudl on May 29th, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
Huh. It occurs to me -- and not for the first time -- that none or very few of my Yes answers, whether to the fannish test or a mundane equivalent, would apply to my any of my (male) ex-spouses or significant others, even when the relationship was at its best. If asked similar questions about my closest women friends, there'd be more Yes answers. If asked about my heart!dog, LOOK OUT.

Apparently I'm the wrong orientation. Or species. o_0
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV Katamari Damacythefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Well, I mean, dogs. They're just better at this stuff than people.
springwoofspringwoof on May 29th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)

Hee! And also bwahahaha!
I think I've read that fanfic somewhere....

tried to eat the safe banana: TFV lettersthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
Hell, you've seen the CANON for most of these, I would think.
Caminando, desaparezcomargueritem on May 29th, 2012 10:39 am (UTC)
I gather from this that relationship therapists have to spend a lot of time telling their clients to stop talking to each other, which is not how I envisioned it prior to this experience.

Hee hee hee.

The motto of psychological testing is, and always has been, "Stop having fun or I will turn this session around and no one will get any therapy.")

Hee hee hee.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV menorahthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
*beams*
Stefmorningapproach on May 29th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
7. I got 7. And I'm surprised that I didn't get more.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV shoesthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
True fact: I had to revise the number that indicated you were out of touch with reality upwards, so that BB and I did not score in the danger zone. (Privilege of being the test writer!)
the pirate queen of norwayashkitty on May 29th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
That is totally the problem I have with those stupid tests! I'm sure the people who write them are all 'this is so vague it should be able to apply to everyone!' andn then I, and presumably other people taking them, are all 'this is so vague there is no clear answer! it could be about anything! what if I'm thinking about donuts and they take it to mean I like to murder people? AAUGH!'
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV umbrellathefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
See, I love psychological assessment tools. I do. And I've been involved from the other end, developing them, so I do understand that the process basically weeds out anything interesting. And that it's all about how you, the test-taker, interpret the question. BUT. I JUST LIKE TO BE CLEAR. NO, CLEARER THAN THAT. #internalconflict
marbleglovemarbleglove on May 29th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Huh. So now I'm trying to see how few fandoms are needed to cover all of these scenarios and I'm thinking between X-Men and The Sentinel they're pretty well covered.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Most of them! Although, like, 17 is not entirely covered, I don't think. (It's hard to say, since X-Men canon is so extensive and convoluted.) But, I mean. Jim/Blair and Magneto/Xavier. Those are some CLASSIC relationships, right there. The bar could not be set higher!
keerawakeerawa on May 29th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, I see this, and it is hilarious
I gather from this that relationship therapists have to spend a lot of time telling their clients to stop talking to each other, which is not how I envisioned it prior to this experience.
*snickers*

If you're not straight, or not monogamous, or genderqueer, or in any way not in line with the cultural norm, then finding a relationship therapist is probably fraught with extra stress
It's hard enough just finding a non-judgemental health care provider...
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Yes, I see this, and it is hilarious
I admit this made me much more curious about relationship therapy. Like, now I'm trying to picture it. Do - do you and your partner(s) talk and the therapist - sits there looking thoughtful? Do all of you talk? Do you both talk to the therapist and get yelled at if you talk to each other? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Maybe I'll grill Rachel. She knows this stuff!

It's hard enough just finding a non-judgemental health care provider...

FOR REAL.
lovessonglovessong on May 29th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
I can see this! And I enjoyed it very much!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Yay on both counts, and thank you for letting me know!
Morgan Dawnmorgandawn on May 29th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
I want to include this on Fanlore as (a) it is a fanwork and (b) very true and (c) very funny. I'd portably copy and paste just the survey itself. We need more record of the funny side of fandom.
tried to eat the safe banana: Fandom is my fandomthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
You totally can, if you want! (Blanket permission, in fact; anything of mine that is unlocked is fair game for Fanlore or whatever.)
amusment factor: high - morgandawn on May 30th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
a particularly troubled Romulan: uhura: smileillariy on May 29th, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, this made me giggle like a maniac. Identifying the references was the most fun! Now I am imagining a story in which one of the referenced couples has to fill out this questionnaire and then needs to attend therapy. :P
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on May 29th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
What I keep imagining is Jim and Blair, ordered to counseling after some cop thing, and Blair being very sincere and talking about their experiences - until, of course, the therapist decides he's actually hallucinating and sends him off to a psychiatrist. I mean. Honesty is NOT always the best policy. (Or, alternatively, the therapist takes it all as a metaphor and gets way, way too into it, while Jim sits there with a pained expression and thinks about fishing.)