Thursday’s Children May 2, 2013

Inspired by Psychology Tests…

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

I have a thing for personality tests and psychology generally, which explains how I ended up with a relatively useless degree in psych and art.  (Clearly, my choices were not based on any kind of “get rich quick” plan). When writers create characters they’re playing psychologists – assembling traits, ascribing motivation, exploring deep-seated fears, relationship dynamics, etc. My current WIP has a psychiatrist in it, so I’ve been reliving Personality 101 and doing some research into the bag of tricks psychiatrists use to determine what’s going on inside their patients’ heads. Especially those patients who are the “withholding” type.

Brace yourself, this could turn into a series because some of the tests I’ve rediscovered have actually inspired my writing. Next week I might share a scene from my WIP that involves a different diagnostic tool.

But for now, on to the Luscher Color Test. Once upon a time, I saw an avant-garde European film. The two protags were a psychiatrist and his patient. At one point this particular test came into play. It’s basically a matter of selecting colors based on preference, from the one which appeals to you most, to the one you like the least. Your preferences reveal things about your state of mind, motivations, personality, etc.

I find personality profiles can be useful when it comes to configuring characters.

luscher

Learn more about the meanings of color and take the whole test by clicking here. You can also learn more about what your first choice color means here.

When my then boyfriend, now husband, and I did this test, I picked violet. Sometimes he still teases me by saying, “You’re being REALLY violet, right now.” My MCs tend to have violet tendencies too.

Here’s what that means-

Violet attempts to fully unify the impulsive conquest of red and the gentle surrender of blue. This is a mystical, magical color, that represents intuitive and sensitive understanding of the unreal. It is the preferred color of almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children. Oddly, it is also preferred by pregnant women and people with hyper-thyroidism and homosexuals of both genders. In short, it can be considered to be a desire for mystic intimacy or understanding.

Did you take the test? Did you feel the results were accurate? Do you feel like an amateur shrink when you develop your characters?

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46 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children May 2, 2013

  1. I loved this test and the meaning behind the choice of violet was interesting. My first choice was orange/red.
    Just recently, I was mentioning to a CP how much I love these kinds of tests and that I’m finding that they help me figure out my characters a bit more- I really like the Jung-Meyers-Briggs test, here’s the link to it- http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

    This is the one I’ve been using lately to help me get to know my characters…and myself : )

  2. Here’s what it said about me: DESIRED OBJECTIVE — You want interesting and exciting things to happen. You are able to make yourself well liked by your obvious interest and by the very openness of your charm. You have an over-imaginative and you are given to fantasy or day-dreaming.

    Hmmm, no wonder I write fiction! Though I’m not so sure about the charm. I can be a right bitch sometimes!

  3. Very interesting post.
    I am violet as well — makes sense, as purple is my favorite color!
    I do think these tests are fascinating. Once in college I was tested as part of a class and they discovered that I use the right and left sides of my brain equally. Apparently this is unusual? I guess it explains my extreme organization and logic blended with a need for creativity, LOL.

  4. Um, I hate to be nit picky but green is not a primary colour…just saying (check out the front page where they list “primary” colours as red, blue, and green). Now I’ll go do the test. Violet would be my favourite colour but not so much the shade that shows up on my monitor. The yellow looks much more attractive even though yellow is far from my favourite colour. So did you choose violet based on your favourite colour, regardless of how it appears in the test page; or did you like it best of the colours provided on the test?
    (Have you taken the MBTI? I’m INFJ; I bet you’re an NF, too.)

  5. I use the Myers Briggs type indicator (link is on my blog in right-hand column) for all my primary characters. I’ve consistently gotten the same score for myself since late high school. Haven’t seen this one before!

    ~Dannie @ Left to Write

  6. I was drawn to the green-blue colour but when I was a kid/teenager I would have chosen violet (purple was my favourite colour back then). Funnily enough I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when I was 13 so who knows that may be why I liked purple/violet so much!

  7. I must have my manuscript on the brain, because I looked at the colors as my MC would, and her favorite/least favorite colors just POPPED out at me. Gray for the sky (good) and brown for the earth (bad). What a fun test!

  8. Haha, apparently, I am “seeking a rather unrealistic perfection in [my] sex life.” But I like violet like you and can agree with the things you mentioned. I love playing psychologist with my characters. It’s one of my favorite aspects of writing. Thanks for the post and blog hop!

  9. There’s a surprise – I’m violet too!! Not sure the analysis of my personality was entirely accurate, but it was interesting. It makes me think I should think more about my characters’ personalities and preferences.

  10. Violet all the way. I even like the name “Violet.” At this writing conference I attended, they had this ice breaker where the moderator had us divide into group groups depending on what our MC’s would do in a particular situation. Turns out 70% of ppl wrote about introverted MCs! The test didn’t stop there – she actually had us determine the Meyer Briggs personality of our MC’s and while I don’t remember which ‘personality’ dominated, ’twas really interesting to see our MC’s broken down in this way.

    • I wonder if the high % of introverted MCs is directly related to the high % of introverted writers? Where are all those extroverted kickass protags? (Well, not in my books, but you know, other peoples’…).

  11. I like these sorts of tests, but the cynic in me says they’re hokum. I know they’re based on some science, but also… sort of bordering on horoscope-y. 🙂 And yes, I just used hokum on a sentence – yay me! PS. I have my first Thursday’s Children post up now. I messed up and added myself to the linky too soon. I’ll do better next week, promise. Thanks for starting this hop!

    • Well, some would say psychology is a “soft” science. I’m all for whatever helps when it comes to character development, hokum or not 🙂 Glad you joined us this week!

  12. This was fun esp when it said I was a creative and exciting person! LOL. I haven’t used tests specifically in writing but I do agree they are useful. I like the Myers-Briggs too (INFJ here).

  13. I loved this test! I took the Luscher Test and it was surprisingly right on about just about everything, and this really stood out in particular: “You have an over-imaginative and you are given to fantasy or day-dreaming.” I totally love this post.

  14. Huh. That was interesting. I had difficulty picking colors because I was more or less attracted (or repelled) by the actual hue than the color itself. Normally I love blue-green but the green there was . . . eh. Of course I picked violet, for the hue–and I don’t usually gravitate toward purple. Very odd. I don’t know what to make of it.

    • The colors are sort of odd, muted and not really appealing. Supposedly they are formulated with a specific purpose. I’m not “normally” a purple person either… What will those psychologists think of next, eh? Stay tuned…

  15. So I tried to be honest and pick what appeals to me right now–and I was surprised. Normally I’m a dark green person (well I have hazel eyes and look best in green). But orange was the color that reached out to me. It really does speak to where I’m at this time.

  16. OMG. Now I know another reason why we’re soul sisters. Purple is totally my fave color. In particular lavender and lilac. I painted my room purple in high school. I had a boyfriend break up with me because my favourite colour was purple (well, he was French but that was seriously one of his top 3 reasons in his breakup letter––le violet, I kid you not). All the loves!

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