Am I Normal

Designing An "Am I Normal?" Test

One of the greatest dangers in taking an "Am I Normal?" test, is the loss of self esteem you might suffer when you find out that you are not only abnormal, but might even belong to the “weird” category. One of the problems in devising such a test lies in determining what is normal and what is not. The dictionary is not a great deal of help, stating that normalcy is a condition of not being abnormal. The dictionary also defines normal as being perpendicular to a tangent on a line or surface at the point of tangency, which is true, but is of no help here.

There are a number of “Am I Normal?” tests one can take online, and for the most part they make interesting and at times hilarious reading. You can take one of the tests, get a score, or at least an answer to your question, and maybe even win a prize, though that would not be normal. Most of the test questions are multiple choice. In some tests there is only one right answer for a given question, in other tests the answers may each have a different weight, some answers considered to be more normal than others. In either event, your final score will dictate if you are normal or not. There's a suspicion that some of these tests will tell you you're abnormal no matter what, but for those who really don't like the idea of being considered normal, that's OK.

Ideally, in putting together an “Am I Normal?” test, the person designing the test should be trained in psychoanalysis, social behavior, and personality testing, and should be completely unbiased and objective in designing the individual questions. In other words, the designer of the test would to most of us not be a normal person.

You can design such a test yourself, which might be fun, and there are even websites that will help you and also allow you to submit your test for others to take. Being completely objective will be the hard part, as no matter what the question, you're undoubtedly going to be at least somewhat biased towards what you feel is the answer a normal person should select.

Two Sample Questions - For example, consider the question - How do you plan to vote in the next election? Four choices might be: A) Democrat, B) Republican, C) Communist, D) I don't plan to vote. Sadly, “D” might identify you as a normal person, since at least in local elections, the majority of people do not go to the polls. If a Democrat designed the test, you would probably be given low points (abnormal) if you selected “B” - Republican, and vice versa. If you plan to vote Communist, you are definitely abnormal, but probably an interesting person to know in any event.

Or take another sample question - What is your favorite color for a necktie? The choices: A) red with diagonal black and white stripes, B) yellow, C) camouflage colors, D) I only wear bow ties. “A” pegs you as being normal, though possibly boring, “B” daring, but maybe a tad abnormal, “C” means you do a lot of hunting and drink beer, while “D” indicates you are on a bit the odd side, but probably a very likeable person.

There have even been scholarly essays written on the subject “Am I Normal?”, but most often written somewhat tongue-in-cheek, or you get a definite feeling the author is trying to be serious, but is having a difficult time of it.

The two sample questions given here only scratch the surface. You can spend an afternoon (or a lifetime) trying to find out “Am I Normal?”, and probably not get anywhere close to succeeding, but can plenty of fun in the process. This might be a good quiz to design for the next party you plan to hold.