Test 23: What’s new, pussycat?

January 29, 2011 at 7:06 am Leave a comment

Private Eye has a column called “the Neophiliacs”, where they collate examples of ridiculously hyped “x is the new y” from press releases and adverts. Love of newness for its own sake, is one of the things we’ve been trained into, so as to keep the great consumerist clutter machine running at full pelt. I never saw the point of that – you win the ratrace, you’re still a rat. And I am risk-averse/choice editing, ever since I realised that the creation of false and trivial choices was a way that mental energy is siphoned off, diverted.

Here endeth today’s predictable rant. Anyhow, I thought I’d be exposed as a stick-in-the-mud on this scale, which is 38 items which you score from 5 = strongly agree to 1 = strongly disagree. A little reverse scoring and … I come out well over 85th percentile, and this was despite rejecting statement 13 “I would like to be one of the first passengers to go to the moon” on the basis of the ginormous carbon emissions.

There were also an alarming number of questions about whether sexual equality and changes in sexual mores had gone Too Far.


Janda’s essay is interesting though. Apparently the guys who came up with the test were looking at “category width” (the degree of inclusiveness people use when they place things or concepts into categories.) And this rings VERY true of me – “people who scored high on the Neophilia Scale preferred to concentrate on the “big picture” in life. When collecting information or making judgments, high scorers were likely to make “errors of inclusion.” They would rather have too much information than not enough.” Low scorers, on the other hand, prefer specific details rather than the big picture and are more likely to make “errors of exclusion.”

I am a big picture guy. Or so I like to pretend to myself. Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so, eh?


Entry filed under: self-knowledge. Tags: .

Test 22: You’re dead a long time, and I feel fine Test 24: The Joyless Division

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