Clinical psychologist Didato (The Big Book of Personality Tests, 2003, etc.) returns with another collection of all-new, easy tests for general self-improvement. The quick quizzes often have a true/false format, with answers provided. Chapters are divided into different categories, such as “Love and Romance” or “Home and Family.” In addition to these magazine-style quizzes, Didato also includes clear summaries of the topics at hand and an explanation of one’s final score. Written in a style that’s refreshingly devoid of scientific jargon, the test topics run the gamut, from “How Happy Are You?” to “Do You Have an Age Bias?” According to the author, all of his tests are backed up by research studies, clinical experience and surveys from professional literature. For example, in a test to determine one’s knowledge of premenstrual syndrome, he cites Johns Hopkins University as the first institution to develop a nondrug PMS self-management plan. Some answers are easy to guess; for example, in a test to determine if one has the traits of a creative person, one of the “true” answers is “I usually daydream more than most of my friends do.” However, other answers can be more illuminating: In the same creativity test, Didato cites a Yale University study that determined that children closer to their mothers tended to be more creative than those closer to their fathers. One test, which helps ascertain whether readers are happy with their jobs, seems a bit unnecessary; wouldn’t readers already know? Fortunately, Didato delves deeper into readers’ psyches with another compelling quiz that determines whether they use their “whole brains” on the job. This collection of hasty tests and statistics probably shouldn’t be taken as seriously as more researched discussions about personality and the power of the mind, but Didato’s questions about deeper topics—such as one’s potential for family violence—can be steppingstones for further learning.
An entertaining coffee-table book for self-analysis.