Saturday, March 14, 2015

Update on the "Who Would I Be?" Project

So, I am very, very satisfied with my blog post about who I would be if I had been unschooled. It's one of my favorite blog posts that I've written in a while. Love how the evidence presents itself and I absolutely want to explore this topic more. I had mentioned at the end of that post that I was going to do a better version of the post using this in-depth, 300-question version of the test that measures 30 traits instead of just five. (It's the same test, but each of the 5 general traits has 6 facets that make it up, so this version breaks your answers down into the 30 facets). But now that I took the test once last night, I don't know if I feel like taking it a second time under the unschooling condition.

About three years ago, I took this 300-question version of the test on a Facebook app, and I posted my results here:

Even though this post is from 2013, I think these are my scores from 2012. The Facebook app eventually became all glitchy, but I had saved my results on an Excel file. For the longest time, I was just never able to find another version of this test online except for the one of the Facebook app that didn't work anymore. Then after I wrote the "Who Would I Be?" post, I went looking and found a personality test site where I could take this test for free! I was so excited that I could do the project, and also excited now that I'd found a free version that my friends could take also if they wanted to and we could compare results just for fun (in a non-judgmental way. I'd only trust a few people to do this with).

So, here's my issue with the new site. See, the test itself is very judgmental. It has an obvious, built-in bias of how a person is supposed to come out. I would much rather work  with a less judgmental test like Myers-Briggs, but I know that my Myers-Briggs type is more inherent and would be the same regardless of whether or not I had gone to school. I've taken the Big Five test a million times, I know that there are lots of answers on that test that are a direct result of my being schooled.

If you click on the link above and look at my results from the Facebook app, you will see that, even though the test itself is judgmental, the answers try not to be. Whoever wrote up the results did the best they could to sound non-judgmental, to word things in way that say, "You're not really interested in being conscientious," rather than making it sound like I've done something wrong. I think whoever wrote the results did a very good job of this, given what they had to work with.

But the new version of the test that I found does not attempt to sound nice at all. The results are worded in a way that makes me feel more like I have something to be ashamed of, even when my results are exactly the same as they were on the Facebook app. And that's why I don't think I would want to post a link to my new results, and I'm not sure I'm up for going through this test a second time in the unschooling condition.

There is also the issue of problems on the test itself. In my old post, I mentioned some of the correlation issues on the test, like how they assume that expressing joy is correlated with being extroverted rather than actually feeling joyful, and how "excitement-seeking" is associated with wanting to be around lots of people and does not actually mention anything that I would find exciting. Well, I never realized this at the time, but I guess a huge part of the way that they were judging morality is related to following rules, so I now I have basically no morality at all according to the test because I've decided that I don't follow rules anymore, even though there weren't many questions on the test that actually involved doing the right or wrong thing in a situation.

But more importantly in terms of my project, I don't think this version of the test asked enough of the questions that will show the differences between my current self and my unschooled self. I mentioned in the "Who Would I Be Post?" that I would not actually be extroverted if I were unschooled, but that the test asked a lot of questions about being talkative or being quiet and reserved, and that's where I would see a big difference. This new version of the test stuck more to questions about being in large crowds and being comfortable around lots of people you don't know and stuff like that, which is perfectly fine and is probably more accurate in terms of showing that I'm an introvert, but I don't think it asked about the traits that will show the differences that I'm trying to show. This version also did not ask about being proficient in art, being curious about the world, or a number of other things that the first version I took asked about. I feel like the areas where I would really be different as an unschooler weren't on this longer version of the test.

Hmm. I think I might try taking the test a second time under the unschooling condition, and IF I find significant differences, what I might do is only write about the significant differences but not actually share all of the results. It might be that the original version I took in the "Who Would I Be?" post really is the best example of what I'm trying to show. So I'll think of these tests as two different entities. Like, if there is no difference in the intro/extroversion section of the new test, the differences on the first test I took still matters because different questions were asked on that test.

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