During his sessions, Swiss psychiatrist Mario Gmür would always keep a pot of paperclips sat on the desk.
Students would often pick one out and fiddle with it during their conversations with him and once the session was over, would either leave the one his desk or drop them in his bin on the way out.
Intrigued, Mario would analyse the paperclips and was surprised to discover that the way patients had bent them could reveal a lot about their character and psyche.
He used this research to form a new way of understanding the human mind.
Below, is The Paperclip Test. Which are you most likely to form? The answer could reveal a lot more than you realise…
The Hulk: You like things as they are
You like to stick with things as they are, only making changes when absolutely necessary. You respect other people and their work, and you do not seek to impose your creative vision or plans. It does not occur to you to adapt existing objects and use them for new purposes: you see value in their intended function and original design. Appearances are not important to you, and you have little time for purely ornamental features. Simple shapes appeal more to you than complex figures, and decorative flourishes arouse suspicion.
The Warrior: You take down aggressors
You are a warrior through and through. You take on the most ruthless aggressors and bring them down. With your strength, agility and speed, you do not need to call in reinforcements: you settle the matter single-handedly, knocking out opponents in a few deadly moves. Your dominance over the ground is equalled only by your mastery of the skies, and your inner reserves of ammunition are inexhaustible. Old adversaries will have nothing more to do with you, but you may be a useful friend.
The Party Goer: You skip through life
Full of natural exuberance, you skip through life – at times a little too carelessly. You are sociable, energetic and outgoing, and you love a bit of small talk. You fit in anywhere and with anyone, happy to jump on the bandwagon. Easy-going and generous in your interactions, you meet new people all the time. You don’t weigh up your words before you speak and you are not pedantic. Your propensity to change your mind and mood can make people see you as a bit flighty. You are prone to emotional lows as well as soaring highs.
The Sex Addict: You are not troubled by everyday living
Passionate and sensuous, you love to be seduced. Leaping elegantly into the arms of temptation, you excel in the art of surrender. Life is a constant honeymoon: you refuse to be troubled by the mundane trials of everyday living. While others battle bureaucracy or society’s expectations, you aren’t thrown off your quest for indulgence. You trust your intuition and your brilliance. Duty and delight, gravity and gaiety exist for you in happy, mostly problem-free, symbiosis.
The False Friend: You are honest but naive
You seem honest, open, innocent, somewhat naïve and give the impression of being helpful. You have a gift for unobtrusively observing others: then, in a flash, you have emptied their pockets and made your escape. You are adaptable and adroit and are capable of putting your morally dubious qualities to more public-spirited use. You would make an excellent spy.
The Anarchist: You are not afraid when things get messy
You are not afraid when things get messy or even chaotic. With your extraordinary reserves of strength and endurance, you do not simply weather the storm – instead you put your all into driving it back. Your defensive tactics can be indelicate and unusually forthright: you are prepared to bring out the heavy artillery if needed. You do whatever it takes, and your courage is beyond question.
The Two Timer: You prefer to work with a partner
You prefer to work with a partner: it means that someone has always got your back and makes you feel stronger. Besides, you would rather not carry the full weight of responsibility – and it suits you to spread confusion about who to blame in case your schemes go wrong. You distract your victims through cunning and sleight of hand, then rob them blind. A bank account in Switzerland or the Caymans would be helpful to stash your stolen bounty. Once the deed is done, you disappear without trace – in search of a new target.
The Nosy Parker: You are happy with your lot
You do not wish to rise above others; you like to dwell among peaceful plains and shaded valleys. In your eyes, the still waters of a lake are more appealing than the towering summits of snow-clad mountains. But you are drawn to other people’s secrets and the pleasure you take in quiet contemplation also has a darker side. You like to eavesdrop and snoop, whether for the thrill of it or because you stand to gain. You would make an excellent informant for office gossips – or the secret service.
The Beggar: You feel like you’ve reached rock bottom
You have reached rock bottom. You gaze up wistfully at others and they feel compassion for you. Without the occasional handout you would struggle to survive. You manage to pull through and get there in the end, notwithstanding the odd setback. Despite your obsequiousness, you are respected for persevering and never losing hope. Some people even see you as a role model for those whom fate has dealt a cruel hand.
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