Can you beat the experts?
Take this simple Clairvoyance Test that I devised for a magazine and compare your results to mine and the experts. Can you do as well as I did or better? The participants were Fred who worked at a university psychology department, Tim a parliamentary assistant living in South London and Helen a managing director of qualities research firm: "We tell ad agencies which people will best respond to their product, so spend a lot of time assessing the public"
This experiment was one I devised for a magazine in the UK.Now look at these women. Can you use your intuition to guess who's married and who's not, how old they are, or what they do for a living? Click on each picture to see how right- or wrong you were. To see a larger picture click on the photos below. Make your notes about what you pick up about each one. When you are ready click the links underneath each one to see how much you got right.
STEP 1 - Take a good look at the people below and decide what you think they are like. Even from a small picture you should get psychic impressions.
STEP 2 - Once you feel pretty sure about things click the photos below and jump to the next picture see what the experts guessed. Are your thoughts and psychic impressions the same or better than the profiling experts.
Clairvoyant Test Results
Here are the results of the clairvoyance Test. Did you work out who did what?
Tim 'I find it hard to tell what age she is; she could be anywhere in her twenties. She is dressed very casually and seems relaxed - much more so than the others. Her hair is quite wild. I think she works in the entertainment or Television industry, and she's into music, clubbing, pubs and cinema. She's approachable, but she'd also know how to put someone down if she needed to, which is a good thing. She looks fun. If she's in a relationship, it's not a committed, long-term one. I think she probably shares rented accommodation with friends. She's attractive, but she's also got a "we could be mates" quality about her.'
Helen There's a strong sense of vibrancy about her; she's very outgoing. She's probably got one close girlfriend, but I think she mostly hangs out with men. Career wise, she could be waitress until she makes it as a musician. I'd say she's in her mid-twenties and that her background was lower middle class, but now she's moved up a class. 'I don't think she's married or has children, but she is probably in a relationship. She looks lots of fun and very straightforward, but I think she's slightly intimidating and quite loud; I'd like to meet her in a small group, not as part of a crowd. I think she's sporty but in an unusual way - she'd go paragliding rather than do aerobics. She lives in a city -Manchester, perhaps - but she'd like to travel somewhere unusual, Vietnam, for instance.' Fred 'She looks young, easy-going and relaxed. She's soft and fluffy: her sweater has a soft collar and cuffs, and her hair is soft. She also has a lot of energy - I can just see her bouncing along the pavement. Her posture suggests some ambiguity, though. She may hate having her picture taken, or perhaps she's slightly hesitant about this extroverted gaiety.'
Craig I found her hard to pick up on. She's putting on a happy front but I think she has a difficult background and suffered some loss in her childhood, maybe a brother or sister died. She has strong family bonds and is a fighter, but I feel she may suffer from stomach and back problems. She's artistic and likes music.'
Nina, 30, works as a youth health promotion specialist. She lives with her boyfriend of eight years in south London. 'I'm glad that Tim found me relaxed, approachable and fun because in my job I have to be, so I hope it's true. I must admit that I'm not always like that, though. I liked Helen's comment about my having a strong sense of vibrancy; people have mentioned this before and I like to think it's true. I used to hang out mostly with men, but this is no longer the case; nowadays my relationships with female friends are far more important to me. My background is actually working-class and she's way off about my work. I really hope that I'm not intimidating and there's no way I'd ever para glide - I'd be far too frightened. I do a lot of exercise, though. 'As for Fred's comments... oh my God! He's made me sound really silly and girly - everything I don't want to be. The only thing he's right about is that I hate having my photograph taken. Craig is wrong - I haven't had any back or stomach problems. My dad died when I was 17, but I don't know if that counts as my childhood. 'I must admit I was quite nervous to hear what everyone would say about me; I worry that people won't take me seriously because of the way I look. There is some truth in what each person says, but it backs up the saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.' TOP
Tim 'I think she's in her late twenties or early thirties. She looks very confident, capable and self-assured; you'd be a bit wary about approaching her. She's in a job that gives her plenty of authority and is pretty career-minded, although I don't think she works in a large organisation. She is attractive - she has a very interesting smile and looks intelligent. I think she's interested in art, literature, theatre and good food; she's fairly sophisticated. 'She's not married and doesn't have any children - she looks too young for that. I'd say she lives alone with her cats and Laura Ashley decor.
Helen 'She is girly in a "woman's woman" kind of way. She's very stylish and good at putting clothes together; I imagine she has a few expensive classics that she then mixes with good accessories. But I sense that she's not very confident. 'She works in the arts, fashion retail, or for an advertising agency - but not a trendy one. She's from the South or the Home Counties, and may have gone to private school. I think she has a close set of female friends because she's not at all threatening. She's safe rather than outrageous. I think she's just come out of a relationship but would like to be in another one. She's sociable in a warm, cosy way.
Fred 'She has youthful, square, relaxed shoulders, but her face isn't particularly relaxed. She has long legs and a flexibility of posture that suggest athleticism; the positioning of her feet suggests that she takes part in dancing or gymnastics. There is conflict here, though - the girlish way she's sitting doesn't fit with the age that's revealed by her face.'
Craig She's quite creative - either a writer or graphic designer - and she's good with words, but she talks sense; she doesn't gossip. I think she's quite political and has opinions about issues such as the position of women in business. She's expressive, well-motivated and ambitious, with a good education and a background in the arts. She's into healing and alternative medicine. She's also newly married.'
Sandy, 37, a reflexology and holistic masseuse, lives on her own in west London. She is single, but has just started dating. 'I'm flattered that Tim thinks I'm so much younger than I am. I do feel confident, but only sometimes. A lot of people tell me I have a look that says, "Be careful how you approach", so maybe there is some truth in it. I don't have cats - and I hate Laura Ashley decor. I am career-minded in the sense that my work is my way of life; in fact it is my life. 'Helen's right - sometimes I do feel fragile. Her comment about my clothes is spot-on. The work bit is wrong, but I did go to a private school and I do have a close set of girlfriends. I haven't just come out of a relationship; I'm actually seeing someone but it's very early days. 'Fred's comments about my posture and athleticism are right. I trained for years as a classical ballet dancer and I still do the exercises to work out. I don't know about the way I'm sitting not fitting with my face, though. I'm not at all hung up about my age; I'm proud of it. 'I'm not a writer but Craig is close, as I did once quite fancy myself as a journalist and I still write for myself. Obviously, he's spot-on about me being into healing and alternative medicine. It's interesting that he thinks I'm a newlywed, because of my new relationship. 'I must say I have really enjoyed doing this. I think I have quite a bad self-image and this has been a big boost. It's lifted my ego.' TOP
'I was very ambitious, but left my job to be a mature student; I finally got a first-class degree'- Deborah
Tim 'She looks like a student to me, because of her hair and the bright, stripy top. She's in her early twenties and into indie music. She looks good fun but she's not really my type. I don't mind her clothes but they look a bit tight - and her legs are so long, she looks like she's on stilts. 'She's single; she's too young to be married, and she doesn't look like she's in a serious relationship. If I was flippant, I'd say she lives in a squat in south London, but she'd prefer a flat in Notting Hill.'
Helen 'She's 23 or 24 and has been out of university for a couple of years. She's ready to take on the world -she's working her way up in marketing or a similar career and she's ambitious. She went to a comprehensive school; she's not from the South, although I think she lives and works in London. She worked hard at college and, though she wasn't a top student, she did pretty well. She's trendy in a high-street way. She's interested in current affairs and has strong views. I don't think we'd have much in common as she's so young, but I'd find her interesting.'
Fred 'There's a cheekiness about her; her hair, which is cut and curled under her jaw line, complements this studied cheeky-girl image. Her mouth is tightly set, but there's a slight smile, so she comes over as insolent rather than threatening. She might be self-conscious, but she covers this with "attitude" and stylish clothes.
Craig 'She's had to struggle and is awkward and pedantic - she's fussy, tidy and a bit impatient. She likes cats a lot. She exhausts herself and burns lots of energy; she eats badly and on the run. I think her job is something to do with photography. However, travel - especially to the US -is going to be an extremely important aspect of her life.'
Deborah, 33, is a production manager for a direct marketing company. She shares a flat with a girlfriend and has a boyfriend. 'Well, Tim got more wrong than anyone, except the Notting Hill bit. I don't live there, but I'd like to. Musically I'm into lots of things, from Ella Fitzgerald to Everything But The Girl and Van Morrison. 'It's flattering that people think I look so much younger than I am. Helen is right about me going to a comprehensive school, but a bit off the mark when it comes to my career. I was originally a production director - and very ambitious - but then I left to study at college as a mature student, and I actually got a first-class degree. 'I feel Fred was spot-on. Craig is only partially right, though - I don't like cats and I'm not fussy or tidy, but I can be contrary. I do eat badly as well, and burn myself out living life to the full. Travel has already been a big part of my life; I was recently thinking of taking a job in the US, but another psychic advised me not to go. 'I certainly judge people before I've even spoken to them - we all do. I suppose the key thing is to be prepared to change your mind later on.' TOP
Tim She's 25 and, because she's dressed casually, I think she works in quite a creative field she could be in the media. She's quite attractive, but not very trendy She looks stern but sociable: she'd be pleasant to the right people, but tell time-wasters to get lost. She probably lives in a flat with friends. She's a young professional who's in a junior job, but it's leading to the one she really warts.'
Helen She looks determined and down-to-earth. She's between 26 and 28 and from a middle-class background. She's in a professional career such as law or accountancy. She's not trendy but she does like to fit into the mainstream social scene. She wears make-up when she feels like it, but not all the time. She'd take a bit of getting to know, but she'd be very loyal. I think she's a Northern lass who lives on her own, but her boyfriend comes to visit.'
Fred 'Her hair is neat, her make-up is restrained and her clothes are formal - all of which minimise her sexuality. She may be ignoring her sexuality, or just not want to be judged by it. She's shy at first, but won't stand for any nonsense later on.'
Craig 'She's fairly passive and gets taken advantage of, which she resents. However, rather than react in an argumentative way, she can be quite stubborn. I think she works in bookkeeping or banking. She's not married yet but hopes to be soon. She likes animals a lot. Her childhood was very good and she is, or was, very close to her grandparents. She also suffers from migraine.'
Grainne, 31, is PA to the editor of Options. She lives in southwest London with a female flatmate and is single. 'Well, Tim's right about my job and home but that's about it. Helen was more accurate; I'd describe myself as down-to-earth but not determined. I'm really indecisive and dither about the most trivial decision. I'm not ambitious, either; I'm more interested in living for today. 'I'm not a slavish follower of fashion - I know what I like and stick to it - but Fred has described my clothes as formal, whereas Tim thinks they're casual, so I guess it's open to interpretation. Fred also says I'm playing down my sexuality, and I'm not too sure what to make of this. I don't think I am - I am interested in being attractive to men. 'People have said that I'm shy and difficult to get to know, although I've become more confident over the past few years. Craig's first sentence describes exactly how I was in my early twenties, but not now. 'I've found this an education. I make snap judgments all the time, but now I won't be quite so quick off the mark - you can be so wrong.' TOP
Tim 'She looks all right -friendly, pleasant and quite young. I think she works in a formal office - I'd say she's a PA and is reasonably intelligent. I'm not all that keen on the clothes: I don't like the shoes or the high neckline. Her interests? I'd say she's into dresses that are too tight, men and booze!' Helen 'She's very girly, soft and fun-loving. She likes to be the centre of attention and attract the boys, but she's a girl's girl as well. I don't think she's in a relationship at the moment, but I think she was in a long one. She's in her late twenties, and I think she might be an interior designer or work in publishing; maybe she's a PA. Her clothes are quite fun for the evening but I'm not sure about wearing them to work. She's dressed slightly younger than she is. I think she may be on the brink of 30 and worried about it. Her social life is not as busy as she'd like it to be. She loves a party and really makes the most of it when she has an evening out. However, I think, out of the six women, I'd have least in common with her.'
Fred 'Her court shoes, blouse and black dress mean that she could be part of a professional business or office. Having said that, the skirt is too short for most areas of the public sector, although it might go down well in the advertising industry. She is growing out a light colour in her hair, so she's had a change and is now letting it go back to its original shade. This shows an interest in altering her image. Her make-up is fairly pronounced and she's probably aware of the effect of showing so much leg. In some ways, though, I think she's an old-fashioned girl; she has a sexy image but she's quite shy. Her outfit is almost like a school uniform, which shows a conservative outlook. I think she hides her personality behind her looks.'
Craig 'I found her difficult. I'm getting a bad sense of direction - is she learning to drive? She is very supportive, but watch out: if she's not your best friend, she'll be your worst enemy. She's witty but can be quite over sentimental about the past, and that holds her back. She likes her family and her home. I feel horses have been a part of her life. I don't think she likes people smoking around her.'
Amber, 30, works as a legal aid solicitor. She lives in south London, with her boyfriend of one year. 'Ouch! tim's comments aren't very accurate. I'm not a PA - and I don't like or wear tight clothes. I find that women tend to interest me more than men and I don't really drink that much. I suppose I am "reasonably intelligent" - I have a degree in English and law, and it does take seven years to qualify as a lawyer.
'Helen's much more on the ball, though; I am quite girly and soft. I used to be bothered about attracting men, but not any more; I am in a relationship at the moment which I think is "the one", but I've been in a few long ones in the past. The uncanny bit is about turning 30- it happened quite recently and I did feel very uncomfortable about it. 'I think Fred's right about me hiding behind my clothes; few people know the real me.
Craig's also right about a lot of things, including my being useless with directions. He also picked up on the fact that people cross me at their peril, although I am a loyal friend and I'm over sentimental about my family. He's accurate about the smoking, too; I hate it and have started an anti-smoking campaign in my office. 'Overall, I think people have been very swayed by my clothes; I think you should wear what you like, even if your outfit is at odds with your career; I wear this dress in court and no one bats an eyelid. People make massive assumptions because I'm a blonde in a short skirt.' TOP