While Kahneman presents compelling evidence for the existence of Systems 1 & 2, he doesn’t say much about how System 1 gets made in each of us. For each of us, that is a big question: how did I come to be the way I am? And how can I gain more control over that? This quiz will start you on the road to insight into the biases that characterise you by exploring the early unconscious choices and decisions that underpin them. What do I mean? While we were growing up, our parents and teachers shaped us on top of our genetic dispositions by advocating some ways of being/choosing, while banning or criticising others. This left us all with a set of attitudes and values that guide us later in life. At the same time, our guides themselves experienced anxieties and ambivalence about life that they passed onto us either deliberately or unwittingly; these responses were packaged as ‘typical’ aspects of their character in times of uncertainty or anxiety.

Thus, alongside the prescribed attitudes and values there came to be within us a group of less deliberate biases that we learned and use just as our teachers did when we are anxious, ambivalent or uncertain – to help us decide what to do or say quickly. After years of practice, we now employ these strategies unconsciously. They were distinguished by a Transactional Analysis theorist called Taibi Kahler.

These biases or heuristics are known as ‘Miniscripts’, also called Drivers: they are –

  • Be Perfect,
  • Be Strong,
  • Try Hard,
  • Hurry Up
  • Please.

The Questionnaire is here: Miniscript Questionnaire

Take the quiz to discover your Drivers and [the System 1] heuristics that you default to in moments or periods of uncertainty. You may find one or two that dominate your behavioural strategies, or you may have all five in varying degrees. Mindfulness and Mentalization, two ways of thinking about your thoughts and feelings will help you discover how they work in you. In my opinion this kind of knowledge is an essential cornerstone of self-awareness – that capability that allows you to better understand others too.

Once you have completed your questionnaire, drop me an email and I will send you your Marking Sheet in complete confidentiality, with a short commentary on each of the Drivers. I will never see your results unless you want to share them with me!

In return for providing you with this questionnaire and the marking sheet, I request that you subscribe to this site, using the form on the Home Page.