What Is Your Strongest Mental Ability?

By: Zoe Samuel

What Is Your Strongest Mental Ability?
Image: Steve Debenport / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

While many animals evolved peculiar traits, like being able to see in infrared or growing claws to scamper up trees, humans grew massive, complex brains. The human brain is such a peculiar thing that in order for a mother to give birth, and unlike most mammals, humans are born in a slightly premature state, unable to take care of ourselves or even walk as most other mammals can. As a result, however, humans develop the most potent weapon in the Earthly food chain arsenal: the human mind.

With our minds, we spread to every corner of the globe. We invented machines that fly. We conceived not only of civilization, but also of many forms of government. Depending on who you ask, we invented dozens of religions. Humans set ourselves apart from the rest of the animal kingdom with a single physical adaptation, but that single adaptation opened the door to a cornucopia of abilities.

So, human: where do your strengths lie? Have you ever soberly considered them? In this quiz, we will parse out your achievements, interests, tastes and what makes you a special human being. From this, we will rank your qualities and determine which of your mental abilities stands apart as your greatest strength. So put down your Sudoku, close up that crossword and get ready to find out if your mental muscle is powerful or pathetic!

How do you envision your career, long term?
I have a game plan that stretches out all the way to retirement.
I just go with the flow and see where my network can take me.
I don't think about it at all.
I don't know. I'll work hard and hopefully that will carry me through.

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What are your friends most comfortable talking about with you?
Not much
They really open up to me about everything.
When they have a problem, I'm the one they come to.
When they're looking for motivation

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Which of these tasks do you find the most daunting?
Picking color swatches for my home
Filling out paperwork
Mindless busywork
Just doing nothing

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What do you find the most difficult part of dieting?
Sticking to it
Resisting temptation
Eating the same boring things over and over
I don't find it difficult at all.

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What drives you crazy about the people you work with?
They think small.
They're callous.
They don't see the right solutions.
They lack sticktoitiveness.

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What normally relaxing activity actually wears you out?
Picking from a restaurant menu
Chatting with friends
Making choices like how to decorate my home
Watching TV

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What do you do when you're finished with work for the day, alone, and need to kick back?
I play a game.
I listen to a podcast.
I read.
I work out.

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Would you consider serving in the military?
Though I might have something to offer, I wouldn't enlist in peacetime.
No way. I couldn't handle the mental pressure.
I might, depending on the job I'd be going for.
Absolutely

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With what sort of writing can you read between the lines?
The news
Personal letters and messages
Poetry
Instructions

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Which of these jobs would you find easiest to do?
City planner
Social worker
Painter
Personal trainer

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How would you fix a broken faucet?
I'd call a plumber as I turned off the water.
I'd ask Facebook for a suggestion.
I'd wrap the leak in gaffer tape, and then go online to find the solution.
I'd turn off the water and then learn how to fix it myself.

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How would you get in shape, if you had to?
I'd hire a trainer and a dietitian and make a plan.
I'd find a friend who would join me on the journey.
I'd read the latest science for inspiration.
I'd just eat less crap and work out more.

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What kind of college did you go to?
A renowned business school
A hippy college
A conservatory
A military academy

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Which of these living situations would you like to try for a year?
Rooming with people who work at a Washington think tank
Living with simple herdsmen in Mongolia
Living in an art commune
Living aboard a submarine

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What sort of physical activities do you do on a regular basis?
I run, to clear my head.
I go to a class at the gym.
I go to a martial arts school.
I lift weights.

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How do you look before you leap?
I think through all the possible consequences, how to avoid them, and how to deal with them if they are unavoidable.
I phone a friend.
I imagine the worst-case scenario.
I just trust that I'm ready for anything.

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How old is your oldest current relationship?
We go back to childhood.
A decade
We met in college.
We met in high school.

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How do you usually go about getting to know someone?
We talk about the world and our views of it.
We talk about feelings.
We talk about what inspires us.
We talk about the things we do, day to day.

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What quality, fairly or not, makes you judge people when you meet them?
When they do something that is obviously shortsighted
When they miss a social cue
When they don't see the forest for the trees
Bad habits

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What do you admire the most about your role models?
Their ability to understand the sheer scope of things
They really understand people.
They were just geniuses.
They had tremendous willpower.

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What moral virtues do you feel you meet most strongly?
I'm willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
Kindness
I don't hurt others.
Fortitude

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What item can't you leave home without?
My phone. It has my calendar in it!
My phone. I need to text!
A notebook and a pen
I can be comfortable without anything, except my keys. I need my keys!

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Which of these situations would shame you the most?
Making a shortsighted mistake at work
Being accused of cruelty
Being told I was boring
Being called out for laziness

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How do you usually form an argument?
I take in all the facts, then find the ones I missed.
I try to argue feelings, not facts.
I wing it.
I line up the main points and march them out.

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How would you go about joining an industry you aren't a part of yet?
I would find the best school with the best connections and get a degree, then jump in from there.
I would network to find contacts there, and then ask them for advice.
I guess it would depend on the industry.
I would work hard on examples of the work needed in that industry, until I can't be ignored.

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Which of these jobs would be the hardest for you to do?
Fast-food salesman
Drug addiction treatment center employee
Data entry
Freelance graphic artist

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What sort of vacations do you like to go on?
I like to go to seminars.
I like to go to nice places with friends.
I like to see beautiful things that leave me inspired and recharged.
I like to go places where I can really challenge myself and get stronger.

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How do you keep your home looking nice?
I hired someone.
I just tidy up whenever someone's coming over, which happens about once a week.
Oh, crap! Thanks for reminding me! I haven't vacuumed in weeks!
I dust and vacuum every Friday.

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How would you get home if someone dropped you in the middle of nowhere, without any money or a phone?
I'd find a menial job I could do for a couple days and buy a bus ticket.
I'd find the nearest payphone and call someone collect, for help.
I'd busk for change and buy a bus ticket.
I'd hitchhike.

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What are your working hours like?
9 to 5 every day
10 to 8, most days
It depends on the day!
7 to 6, five days a week

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