Baddie and the Psycho Study
A few weeks ago, because I am a poor, poor student, I followed a link sent in an email by our university’s medical department and registered on a database for test volunteers. Nothing like painful clinical trials, mind you, more like psychometric tests. And I’d get a little money for it. They said they’d get in touch – and I mentally heard the clinking of coins…
So the day before yesterday, when I got an email letting me know they’re doing an MRI study, I got really excited. They even promised a free scan of my brain, which I could keep – how cool is that? The only thing was, I had to fill in this online questionnaire first, to see if I fitted their requirements. Easy-peasy, I thought to myself. I have a first-rate brain. Who wouldn’t want to take lovely pictures of it?
I clicked with supreme confidence, and was faced with the first question:
1. “Have you ever felt that people say things about you that had a double meaning?” What a strange question. “NO”.
2. “Have you ever felt things in newspapers or shown on TV were written especially for you?” Errrr…. “NO”.
3. “Have you ever felt like some people are not what they appear to be?” What, like Stepford Wives? “NO…”
4. “Have you ever felt you were being followed?” WTF? “NO” (Although now that I think about it, I did once, but it was a homeless man, and I KNEW he was following me. I ditched him in a bookstore – following the mad secret agent skillz of special literature students everywhere).
5. “Have you ever felt there was a conspiracy against you?” Hahaha. I mean. Hmm. Maybe this test is not for me? “NO”
6. “Have you ever felt you were meant to be someone important?” I wish. “NO”
7. “Have you ever felt you are special or unusual?” “NO” but this questionnaire certainly is.
8. “Have you ever felt you are especially close to God?” Oh for Heaven’s sakes. “NO”
9. “Do you sometimes think people can communicate telepathically”. Uhmm… actually.. a tiny bit “YES”
-> three further questions appear as if by magic: “Does it make you worry a lot?” (from not really to very) “Do you think about this a lot?” (from not really to all the time) “Do you believe in this strongly?” (from nah to I’d stake my life on it)
10. “Do you sometimes think electronic devices such as your PC could influence the way you think?” I would tend to say yes, in that we may tend to think more logically, like computers, the more we use them, but I’m thinking what they mean is more along the lines “is the little evil voice in the computer telling you what to do” so… “NO”
11. “Have you ever felt you were chosen by God?” Oh boy.
12. “Do you believe in witchcraft?” I don’t need to, I already have holy powers (see question 11).
13. “Do you often worry your partner could be unfaithful?” Nooo, too busy stealing his passwords to check his mail (joke, Mr. B, joke!)
14. “Have you ever felt you sinned more than the average person?” How could I sin more than the average Joe? I am a chosen of God! (see question 11)
15. “Have you ever felt people looked at you strangely because of your appearance?” Just those times I dreamt I was walking out in public without any clothes on. What? like you’ve never had that dream! or maybe they come only to those…. chosen by God?
16. “Have you ever felt you had no thoughts in your head?” Wait a minute, wait, the thought is coming to me, and it’s a….“NO”
17. “Have you ever felt the World was shortly going to end?” “NO” but if I did, would I be sitting around answering this questionnaire?
18. “Have your thoughts ever seemed like they didn’t belong to you?” Well, if you ask it like that, then I’d have to say… “NO!”
19. “Have your thoughts ever felt so vivid, you felt others could hear them?” You mean… those times I actually had some thoughts in my head? (see question 16)
20. “Have you ever felt your own thoughts were transmitted back to you?” Wait, what? I don’t even understand that question. Nevermind, will go with my usual reply. “NO!”
This was the end of the test, gentle reader. As I noticed after completing it, there’s a disclaimer above every question stating that the study is meant to survey beliefs and spiritual experiences that occur more frequently in everyday life than is normally believed. They think most people have such experiences during their lives.
I’m guessing I will not be called back for the actual super-cool brain scan. But I’m not too sad, because if I had answered even more than one or two of those questions with a YES, I’d be seriously doubting my sanity. I’m no expert, but don’t these questions seem to create the profile of a paranoid / schizophrenic / mentally disturbed subject? Or… are my thoughts being transmitted back to me?