Why do people take quizzes? Yah they are fun, by why are they fun? What is it that makes us unable to resist clicking on yet another “What Kind of Cheese Are You?” quiz?
There are two reasons, and both are much more psychological than you’d imagine.
#1 Reason: We Like To Talk About Ourselves
#2 Reason: We Like To Learn About Ourselves
Let’s break those down and look at why each one is incredibly powerful.
Why we like to talk about ourselves. Harvard researchers ran a study to find out if people like to talk about themselves. They ran all sorts of studies comparing talking about yourself to talking about other people to talking about subjects you are an expert in, and one thing rang true through every single study.
No matter the test, the researchers, led by Diana I. Tamir and Jason P. Mitchell at Harvard’s psychology department, found the results pointed the same way: humans get a biochemical buzz from self-disclosure.
It’s no surprise then that 40% of the words we say in our lives are about ourselves, we’re psychologically addicted to talking about ourselves.
Now take a look at a well-crafted quiz question like the one picture below. It’s asking me what my ideal working environment is, and then gives me options to answer based on my personal preference. This is self-expression. By answering this question I’m disclosing something about myself that triggers a biochemical reaction in my brain making me feel good.
People say quizzes are addictive, and they’re right. Answering questions like this can build an addiction (although there really aren’t any side affects to this addiction, other than getting distracted at work).
In terms of thinking about your own quiz strategy, you should always remember that people like to talk about themselves, not about their business, or to test their knowledge, or to talk about someone else. Every question should be directed squarely at the quiz taker and it’s okay to ask personal questions because people like self-disclosure. If you’re looking for a better concept of how this plays out, we have a list of quiz questions and a guide on how to write quiz questions in a personal manner.
Why we like to learn about ourselves. The self-help industry is an $11 Billion a year business. The entire premise of this industry is built on the fact that the better you understand yourself the more you’ll be able to navigate through life in an enjoyable manner. People are willing to shell out serious cash to learn about themselves, and that’s why a quiz revealing your personality type is such a strong draw (even if it’s just telling you what kind of Disney Princess you are).
Check out this example below from a quiz titled “What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?” It’s got a full description of your personality along with strengths and weaknesses. This is incredibly valuable information because now you know a little better what you are good at and where you might tend to struggle.
*You may also notice that this result is super positive, and every quiz result is very positive. This is on purpose because the one thing we like more than learning about ourselves is learning good things about ourselves.
In terms of thinking about working this back into your quiz, make sure your quiz results not only provide a detailed explanation of the personality you are showing someone, but also make sure you keep the description very uplifting so your quiz takers can learn something really encouraging about themselves.