If you are obsessed with social media, like we are, you have probably seen those Buzzfeed pop quizzes on Facebook that have allowed you and your friends to find the answers to such burning, insightful questions as “what sandwich are you?” and “which Disney prince should you marry?”
Because the staff at San Clemente Website Design is so all about staying on top of the latest in online communications and information sharing, we decided to
waste invest some time in understanding the technology behind these life-changing quizzes.
We chose to do this through very accurate and precise scientific testing. We had a long discussion
while slinging back beers at Pizza Port in our conference room, and discussed how, by letting Buzzfeed know which Beyonce song is our favorite, they can pinpoint which U.S. city we should be living in, or how our most-used phone app is such an accurate indication of which Whit Stillman movie character we are most like.
We collectively came up with the hypothesis that the quiz changes its response depending on what time of day you take it. Then we each were assigned a quiz, and told to take the quiz, using the same answers, at regular intervals. Most of us completely ignored these directions. At any rate, it turns out we were wrong about how the quiz works, and that we suck at science, but we did have some fun testing our theory.
Here is a breakdown, from each of us, of our Buzzfeed quiz experiences:
SCIENTIST: Debbie Foley, Owner of San Clemente Website Design
QUIZ: Which Member Of The Bluth Family Are You?
METHODOLOGY: I took this test periodically throughout the day on Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29. I did not follow the instructions of taking the test in one-hour intervals because I don’t have to. I’m the boss.
I chose the same answers each time, and got the same answer: I am George Michael Bluth. I found this disappointing because I’m a fan of the original Arrested Development series, and I would have liked to be the Portia de Rossi character. She’s pretty.
I looked at the quiz’s source code for a few minutes to see if I could easily determine the algorithm behind the quiz results, but quickly grew bored of that.
RESULT: I am, apparently, a teenage boy.
SCIENTIST: Kimberly Jones, Literary Artist
QUIZ: Which Hogwarts House Do You Belong In?
METHODOLOGY: I took this quiz five times, at one-hour intervals, on Wednesday, January 29. Because I am part of the 1% of the population who is completely unfamiliar with the world of Harry Potter, I didn’t understand many of the questions.
My result, after taking the test five times, was that I belonged in the house of Gryffindor. The explanation they gave me for why this was my result described me to a tee, minus the fact that it was entirely wrong.
Because no scientific test is complete if it doesn’t give you the answer you want, I went back and took the quiz a few more times, changing my responses each time. Once I had changed two of my responses, my result changed from Gryffindor to the house of Hufflepuff.
RESULT: In the time I spent taking a stupid quiz about Harry Potter, I could have read one of his books.
SCIENTIST: Cindy Rutland, Project Manager/Lead Developer
QUIZ: Which Decade Do You Actually Belong In?
METHODOLOGY: I took the quiz nine times total. The first five times, I answered the questions exactly the same, and got the same decade: the 60s. I found that what time of day I took the quiz didn’t make a difference. I will say that I did all my quiz-taking for this experiment after the year 2000.
The first three times I took the quiz, I did it every five minutes. Then I waited until the next day and, again, took the quiz six more times at five-minute intervals. For the first two times I took the quiz on the second day, I used the same answers I used from the three times I took the quiz the day before. I continued to learn that I belong in the 60s.
For the last four times I took the quiz, I changed my responses for two of the questions. With these new answers, my result was that I should live in the 20s.
RESULT: I feel more like a 70s kind of girl, but I’ll compromise by moving to the late 60s.
SCIENTIST: Isaiah Mickelson, Project Manager
QUIZ: Which Muppet Are You?
METHODOLOGY: I took the quiz five times on Thursday, January 30, at half-hour(ish) intervals between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
I got the same response every time: I’m Bobo the Bear, who is kind-hearted, funny, and always has the best intentions, even though he is kind of a klutz in the love department.
‘Klutz lover’ is on the money for me. Everything else is hogwash.
RESULT: I am probably not a Muppet.
SCIENTIST: Ian Sanchez, Web Developer
QUIZ: What Food Matches Your Personality?
METHODOLOGY: I took the test first at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28. The results stayed the same throughout my several attempts.
“Cheese” is the food that matches my unique personality!
The quiz goes on to say that I am nerdy, yet wise, and appreciate both highbrow and lowbrow humor. I am also said to make a lot of people happy. I bet my ex-wife would disagree with that last part.
RESULT: Who knew cheese was such a well-rounded food?