Topic: Feedback about skewing the results

English Alexithymia Forum > Alexithymie Questionnaire

Feedback about skewing the results
10.01.2013 by Admin

Recently we got this feedback:

It was very easy to see repeated types of questions (or reversed logic/answers) and would be simple to skew the results. Longer/more questions would make this harder.

Of course this is right but the main idea of the questionnaire is getting meaningful results and this is only possible if questions are answered honestly. So this should be no problem for most of you. If you want to get real results make sure to answer questions as faithfully as possible.

This questionnaire is not intended to rate or judge by any means but should give you a better insight within yourself - at least we hope so.

skwSkew
17.06.2013 _T('by') lmbehm

While it is easy to spot the questions that are repeated or have reverse logic, also if you are just taking the test without analyzing the questions as you do, I don't think the results will be skewed. And if you are taking the test without complete awareness of what the test checks for, I don't think the repeated or reverse logic questions would be an issue.
Even on other tests I have taken, I can recognize the repeated questions but it is not easy to get back to the other questions to check on your anwers.

skewing results
01.08.2014 _T('by') jadeprincess

on those types of exams, I do this thing while I have to respond within five seconds, or click "don't know". that limits my impulse to skew results into what I see as myself.

Extreme
07.03.2015 _T('by') DXS

I redid the test off line (meaning "not logged on") and answered every question extreme. I answered "strongly agree" or "Strongly Disagree" depending on how the question was worded.

Got a score of 177. Makes me wonder if 177 is the top score you can get.

Answering honestly, my initial score was 109, but I had a lot of "undecided." Redid it with NO 'undecides" and got 123.

Skewing to tone down
19.03.2015 _T('by') PowerWolf

I can confirm that 177 isn't the highest score; I just had a result of 185.
Not that I think this is any sort of competition, just responding to your wondering about the top score. Now I'm wondering what the top score actually is.

I'm finding that in questionnaires like this (and autism/Asperger's), I have to go back and change some answers, otherwise I max out the results when I answer honestly, which does give the impression that I am faking.

Limited scope
04.07.2015 _T('by') Maus

I found the questions to be a bit basic- not to be rude, I just hoped for something a little more elaborate. I felt like the reversed questions were just filler. I would wish for a questionnaire with 40-80 questions, with attention to things like: Performance anxiety, confidence issues, family life/early developement years, difficulties in school/the work place, antisocial tendencies/withdraw.

I would like to see questions like:
-Do you find yourself angered or embittered towards those who you feel cannot understand your position in a discussion?
-If so, how long does it stay in your mind? (minutes) (hours) (days) (weeks or more)
-Do you feel left out or spoken-over in conversations?
-Do you feel a powerful need to verbalise your emotions-Often reiterating yourself?
-When recalling or confronting emotional situations, do you find yourself feeling dizzy? Anxious? Increased heart rate? Itchy? Restless? Hot flashes?
-Do you often find yourself 'checking' your behviour around others? (IE: repressing emotions for fear of being overbearing, mentally chastising yourself for revealing too much to the wrong person, reminding yourself not to act like a 'freak'?
-Do you find it difficult to censor yourself or control what you say?
-Do you find yourself retreating from conversation because it feels like too much effort?
-Do you prefer the company of animals/small children to others?
-Do you prefer being alone?
-Do you find lack of inter-communication at school/at work/ at home irritating?
-Do you often find yourself apologizing for your behaviour, or mispeaking in conversations?

I'd like to hear what others would like to see in a questionnaire, I feel like as a community we could benefit from swapping our shared knowlege and experiences with Alexithymia.

Problems with answering questions
17.07.2015 _T('by') Entropic

I couldn't genuinely answer most of the questions because I didn't understand them. It should be considered too.

maus
31.07.2015 _T('by') 4rch0n4n6313

yes, i like the questions you presented..I think Im going to retest with a different test

Replies to the questions from Maus
04.08.2015 _T('by') DXS

The questions Maus proposed were good:

Do you find yourself angered or embittered towards those who you feel cannot understand your position in a discussion?
-If so, how long does it stay in your mind? (minutes) (hours) (days) (weeks or more)

YES! I think about it for many many days! I go over it in my head, what could I have said to make them understand? My mom thinks I "dwell" on things. I hate getting accused of this.

-Do you feel left out or spoken-over in conversations?
Mixed. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Not enough to be significant to me


-Do you feel a powerful need to verbalise your emotions-Often reiterating yourself?

YES! I repeat it until someone "gets" it.


-When recalling or confronting emotional situations, do you find yourself feeling dizzy? Anxious? Increased heart rate? Itchy? Restless? Hot flashes?

I don't like them, but I can't connect to what I'm feeling about why I don't like them.

-Do you often find yourself 'checking' your behviour around others? (IE: repressing emotions for fear of being overbearing, mentally chastising yourself for revealing too much to the wrong person, reminding yourself not to act like a 'freak'?

YES! Especially around authority or "muckety mucks" at work. I get intimidated! So intimidated I say the wrong thing anyway.



-Do you find it difficult to censor yourself or control what you say?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but I feel this question contradicts the previous question.


-Do you find yourself retreating from conversation because it feels like too much effort?

Not an issue to me.



-Do you prefer the company of animals/small children to others?

Animals!


-Do you prefer being alone?

Yes. I never married because of this. My mom doesn't understand my need to be alone. Holidays are horrible because I don't want to stay very long and my mom gets mad at me for this.

-Do you find lack of inter-communication at school/at work/ at home irritating?

I don't understand the question. Does this mean that I observe it at work and find it irritating? YES! Or does it mean I find it irritating from me? Well, I try to communicate but when I am "too honest" people don't like it.


-Do you often find yourself apologizing for your behaviour, or mispeaking in conversations?
YES!

Reply to Maus
19.08.2015 _T('by') West1223

The questions Maus posted are like the ones I wished were on the questionnaire as they would make the results more relatable so here are my answers:

Do you find yourself angered or embittered towards those who you feel cannot understand your position in a discussion?
-If so, how long does it stay in your mind? (minutes) (hours) (days) (weeks or more)

Sometimes when people are discussing topics and I can't understand why they feel the things they are and they can't understand why I don't. It only last for an hour at most.

-Do you feel left out or spoken-over in conversations?

In different situations I am mainly if I am around my peers however around family and my elders usually no.

-Do you feel a powerful need to verbalise your emotions-Often reiterating yourself?

No because I don't understand how I feel.

-When recalling or confronting emotional situations, do you find yourself feeling dizzy? Anxious? Increased heart rate? Itchy? Restless? Hot flashes?

I usually feel sick when I am in emotional situations or when I recall them. Sometimes after a period of emotional situations I can be physically sick even if I haven't realised there have been emotional situations.

-Do you often find yourself 'checking' your behviour around others? (IE: repressing emotions for fear of being overbearing, mentally chastising yourself for revealing too much to the wrong person, reminding yourself not to act like a 'freak'?

Yes mainly in such a way as acting how others are responding to a situation so that I don't "stand out" or do something "wrong".

-Do you find it difficult to censor yourself or control what you say?

If I am frustrated with a situation I have more trouble stopping myself but most times I am able to censor myself.

-Do you find yourself retreating from conversation because it feels like too much effort?

YES all the time I will be part of a conversation at the start but will withdraw soon afterwards especially when a group of people are talking.

-Do you prefer the company of animals/small children to others?

Small children although if cuddly toys (teddys/animals) count then mainly them.

-Do you prefer being alone?

Yes. Although if people are in the room with me but not talking or interacting with me I don't mind so much as when people are around and interacting.

-Do you find lack of inter-communication at school/at work/ at home irritating?

I don't find it irritating at school but sometimes at home people won't tell me of plans that affect me such as when people will be away from home late or if they have arranged visits so the lack of that communication I find very irritating.

-Do you often find yourself apologizing for your behaviour, or mispeaking in conversations?

Occasionally. I apologise mainly when an action or what I have said is upsetting or offensive (and they tell me such) even if I don't understand why the recipient would feel that way

Reply to Maus
22.08.2015 _T('by') BYO

I feel the depth of analysing you request is a good enough sign alexithymia is not your problem. (If you feel you have one) .The questioner in my opinion is suffice to determine people suffering from alexithymia in contrast to those who display similar symptoms but are caused by depression or drug or alcohol abuse .

04.03.2021 _T('by') User76193I36

Hello, I'm new here on the forum. I would like to share my thoughts on the questionnaire. I have already sent them to the authors, but I'd like to discuss them in public to find out whether others experience alexithymia the same way as do.
In my opinion there is a lot to complain about the test. Even though it gave me the result I've expected, I think it's not reliable, detached from reality and a bit confusing. Some of the questions are contradictive, they seem that in the author's intention was that the answer "strongly agree" is the most alexithymic but it might be otherwise on the deeper analysis.
Firstly, about half of the questions are derived straight from alexithymia definition, so the answers to them might get biased by people who have just found out about their condition and probably read the definition before finding your test.
Secondly, at least some people with alexithymia feel nervousness instead of normal spectrum of emotions. Having this in mind, questions 1. or 2. seem wrong, because an alexithymic may know what does he feel and how to describe it: he feels nervous or angry. But in fact he can not describe it while the emotion is going on, because he is under control of it so he just acts it out, and realizes about it later.
Another problem is understanding other's emotions: as far as I'm concerned, alexithymia not necesarily excludes this ability. It is a part of empathy, which is consisted also of co-feelig emotions of others (like getting infected by the atmosphere on a funeral). Whereas this second thing would be difficult for alexithymic, understending other people's emotions may not necessarily be affected, at least it is possible to understand when someone is down and may need support.
Next problem with the test relates to questions like: People tell me to describe my feelings more, as if I haven't elaborated enough. Those questions imply that the person doing the test must have some really close relationships, close enough so the people would "tell him to describe his feeligs more". I think that not so many people are happy to have sincere relationships, and even if they do, people don't tell such things really often if they are not psychologists, especially if you are alexithymic so they have found out that you are not much into talking about emotions.
The notion above also refers to other questions about "describing one's emotions" - I guess that at least some alexithymics have never found themselves in a need or occasion of doing so, so might not know that it is difficult. Also, they might be satisfied with simple descriptions like "I feel bad" or "I feel nervous", so they don't feel any difficulty in description. They might never notice that most of people have more elaborated vocabulary in emotional matter.
Another case, similar, needs no explanation: Question 12: Describing the feelings I have about other people is often difficult - I like person A, I don't like person B, and towards all others I don't really care, but I wish them all the best. What is the difficulty here?
Question 22: I often ask other people what they would feel if in my personal situation (any situation), as this better helps me understand what to do.. - Alethithmics are not likely to ask this kind of questions, since they don't concern much about emotions. Also, such question is not natural even for non-alexithymics.
My last comment will refer to the last question: Question 37: I make decisions based on principles rather than gut feelings. - The fact that an alexithymic doesn't consciously feel emotions, doesn't meen that they don't affect his decisions and behaviour. Emotions affect subconsciously everybody, even though people think that they have reasonable, not emotional rationale for their choices.
Probably theese are just my own observations of myself, which I'm mistakenly projecting on other alexithymics. That's why I'm interested whether you agree with them. Thanks!

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