Humoural personality test

1) You've driven eight hours instead of four on your way to your holiday destination, stuck in traffic jams and getting lost repeatedly. When you finally arrive, do you:
  • start a fight with your partner
  • go help hosts prepare dinner
  • fall asleep
  • sit down with a glass of white wine and complain about the ordeal
  • sit down with a glass of champagne and make jokes about the ordeal
2) Your grandmother calls you three times in a row to tell you to remember to bring her a special medicine you can only find where you live. By the third call, you:
  • laugh
  • cry
  • scream at her
  • don't answer
  • gently tell her you've already bought it
3) You have just gotten married, but your beloved has to leave town for a few weeks. You have been together intensely for months. Right after his or her departure, on a Sunday morning, you:
  • feel sad but call your best friend to have lunch and make plans for each evening
  • feel sad and slump on the sofa, unable to move, unwilling to do anything
  • have some chocolate, perhaps read some poetry, and go for a long solitary walk
  • rejoice in your regained, albeit temporary freedom and concentrate on work at last
  • go away on your own jaunt without warning your spouse of the plan
4) You finally can take a holiday, exhausted after a 10-month stretch of hard work, illness and childcare. Your first choice is:
  • desert
  • beach
  • spa
  • country cottage with friends
  • expedition in the jungle
5) You need to lose a little weight. Do you:
  • ignore the fact
  • become obsessed with the issue
  • exercise and cut down on sweets
  • get depressed about it all and eat more
  • you never need to lose weight
6) You are given a work assignment that you've always wanted but fear you might not be entirely qualified for it. Do you:
  • after some hesitation, decide to tell your employer you are well qualified and take on the project in spite of your nerves
  • decide to turn it down, on good faith, fully confident that your career can recover well enough
  • manage to convince yourself you can do it and go ahead without hesitation
  • become acutely anxious, feeling entirely inept yet terrified of what your employer might think of you or do to you if you turn it down
  • postpone the decision and contemplate a new career
7) You are single and rather lonely at a friend's crowded party. You suddenly notice a highly attractive person in the far corner of the room, engaged in conversation with friends. Do you:
  • politely and discretely ask the host to introduce you
  • become ever more withdrawn, convinced that you could never be attractive to that beautiful person, entrenched in the belief that you are doomed to remain alone for the rest of your life
  • walk straight up to the group and start talking to the person in an obviously flirtatious way
  • walk up to the group and, overcoming your shyness, begin a conversation with the person's main interlocutor
  • ignore the person, get another drink and find someone else to talk to
8) You are supervising a mediocre, lazy novice or student in your firm or college, who comes to your office to complain about the negative evaluation or poor grade you gave. Do you:
  • stick to your guns, lecturing the person about the need to be tough for a learning curve to be sharp
  • stick to your guns, let the person complain, but don't do or say anything in response
  • offer the person the chance to undertake a new project, or to rewrite an essay
  • stick to your guns but feel guilty
  • feel guilty and improve the evaluation or grade, feeling all the guiltier afterwards
9) You awake on a Sunday with what seems an unusually powerful, throbbing headache. Do you:
  • immediately take your favourite painkiller, with plenty of water, and go out for lunch as planned
  • lie in bed for awhile, unable to get up or think, and go back to sleep
  • panic, break out in cold sweat, convinced you finally have a dangerous illness, and call the doctor to get urgent tests
  • take a cold shower, exercise, have your muesli and supplements, forgo medication in the conviction you can beat it, but complain about it all day
  • take a pain killer and decide this will be your first Sunday off in weeks
10) You are late for dinner at friends' house and leave in a hurry; but on your way you realize your partner, who shut the door after you, may well not have locked it properly. Do you:
  • forget about it, why would anything happen anyway
  • frettingly tell your partner robberies always happen the one time one doesn't lock
  • ask your partner repeatedly why he/she had to forget, yet again, but then let it be
  • go back home to make sure and lock
  • say nothing but feel too worried to eat anything





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NOTE. This test is not intended to present a diagnosis of personality, nor to be of scientific or medical value in any way. It is mostly intended to amuse, and to illustrate the ancient notion of humours by applying it to our modern lives. (But if it reveals something you half knew about yourself, all the better.)


Septem planetae: Temperaments and Elements, by Gerard de Jode (after Martin de Vos), 1581. Photo Warburg Institute.