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Judgment: Quantity over Quality is Way Better

Last weekend I had to take an online personality test. I’m on the board of a volunteer organization, and the president requested that all of us fill one out because it has something to do with our next meeting. I guess it says something about my personality that I stayed home on a Friday night to do this kind of stuff.

It didn’t take very long because I flew through all the questions. I had to decide if each statement was very like me, somewhat like me, neutral, not like me, or very not like me.  Since they were all repetitive and I was in a hurry, I only marked something as a “very” if something specific stuck out in my memory.

For instance, for all the questions that basically asked if I thought a lot about decisions, weighed pros and cons, or was a careful person, I marked “very.” I answered that way because I immediately thought about how I’ve debated over paint options for my kitchen table for months now.

And I’m super careful; some might even use the word paranoid. I remembered how a couple of weeks ago we went out to a remote state park to get away from the city lights and see the stars. My husband was out of town so the kids and I went with a friend and her family. Since I was in the role of “preparer for the wilderness” I gathered up all the necessary supplies one would need when stargazing on the open prairie: blankets, bug spray, Dr. Pepper, popcorn, Twizzlers, and a very large kitchen knife.

Like my children, you may be wondering why we needed a huge kitchen knife.  It was for protection against snakes and robbers, duh. I grew up across from Rattlesnake Hill and once had a scary encounter with a knife-wielding hoodlum in a city park, so I knew we couldn’t go out unarmed.

I'm gonna step on this snake's head and kill him.

I could even imagine myself stepping on a rattlesnake’s head on our adventure. Then a kid would fetch the knife out of the car, and I’d cut that snake’s head clean off. I’d be the hero, and my friend would just be standing there shaking and know that she was indebted to me forever. And all the world would know of my glory.


240 repetitive questions later, I got the results of the personality test. It said that my number one strength was my judgment. I was like, “heck, yeah!” I make one good decision after another, and that’s why my life isn’t in the toilet like all those people on reality tv.

I gloated in my superior wisdom and safety consciousness until I remembered the other part about the stargazing adventure: I completely forgot to bring flashlights or money. But I brought the knife. I wasn’t prepared for reality at all, unless that reality involved criminals or poisonous snakes. My brain was filled with dreams of Twizzlers and slashings, and I forgot all else.

This made me question the whole legitimacy of any survey that would tell me I had good judgment. Of course anyone with poor judgment probably thinks their skills are the best, or they wouldn’t keep making the same decisions. The entire premise of the survey must be flawed.

I told my husband about this, and he noted that the survey did not necessarily tell me that I had good judgment—just that I used lots of it no matter how poor it may be.

Phew! What a relief! Everything is okay with the survey.

AND, I found out my brain is like the Walmart of decisions: I feature quantity over quality.*


*I’ll be out next week due to an expected case of lead and nickel poisoning.


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  1. Umm. . . Who the hell thinks about flashlights when there are Twizzlers, face-eating snakes, and thugs that want nothing more than to take your wallet and your hair?!? NOBODY, that’s who! Well, unless you actually think ahead to the fact that it’s going to be dark because you’re out there in the middle of the night. But seeing in the dark is overrated. At least you knew you weren’t going to step on Legos.

  2. I can totally relate to this…. but isn’t “judgement” relative? And when you think about it, probably 9 people out of 10 would bring a flashlight. Who needs 9 flashlights? All of them would be psyched that someone had the good sense to bring along some Twizzlers!

  3. At least you thought to bring the knife!

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