Review of “PSY-Q: Test Yourself with more Than 80 Quizzes, Puzzles, and Experiments for Everyday Life” by Ben Ambridge

This book will appeal to those of you who take the many tests on Facebook to determine what sort of personality you are. The difference is that these tests are well constructed and therefore much more illuminating.


The author, a professor of psychology, has put together a collection of quizzes, jokes, and interactive exercises replicating actual studies by scientists on personality, intelligence, moral values, thinking styles and abilities, and more. After you take each short test, the author explains how it works, and how “most people” respond (or in some instances, how children and/or monkeys respond, compared to adults).

You will find answers not only to survey questions like whether you are a conspiracy theorist or what are the qualities you seek in a mate that show the most likelihood of compatibility, but you can also compare your answers on a variety of moral questions, such as, which treatment for a disease would you opt for: one that would save 200 people, or one with a 1/3 probability of saving 600 people and a 2/3 probability of saving no one? Or which tactic would you choose to control unruly prisoners: reason, or harsh treatment, and why? What do most people choose?

Then there are a number of studies that show psychological responses and how they can be manipulated, such as jury response to prisoner appearance, or how to trick yourself to eat fewer chips.

Evaluation: This is a great book to keep on the coffee table, use on family trips, or pull out at social gatherings. It will spark a lot of discussion, and enlighten everyone in surprising ways at the same time. My family, a very competitive one to say the least, loves this book!

Note: The author has a companion website on which you can try out some of these tests, here.

Published by Penguin Books, 2014

About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review of “PSY-Q: Test Yourself with more Than 80 Quizzes, Puzzles, and Experiments for Everyday Life” by Ben Ambridge

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I don’t take tests on Facebook but used to love the ones they published in magazines. I have a feeling I’d like this book!

  2. booknaround says:

    This sounds really entertaining but I suspect I’d lose a lot of time poking around in it. LOL!

  3. Beth F says:

    This sounds like so much fun!!

  4. Belle Wong says:

    Now you have me wondering if I’m a conspiracy theorist! I do like reading about conspiracy theories …

  5. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m pretty sure I’d waste way too much time on this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.