How do you deal with
cognitive dissonance—the conflict
that arises between our internal beliefs
and external world experience?

a) I refuse to believe I have experienced cognitive dissonance.

b) I blame George R.R. Martin for all my emotional turmoil.

c) How do you deal with your cognitive dissonance?

d) You can either shift your beliefs in light of new knowledge, or exert steady, transformative pressure on the world by founding your own multimedia production company with your wife and pumping out historical/public policy books and “documentaries” that support your agenda.

e) Dig around until I find a fossilized fish with a human jaw, filling in an evolutionary gap and landing myself in blissful accord once again.

f) Pack up my pamphlets, dioramas, and smug bumper stickers, give up my lease on the billboard, and woefully return my pet bobcat to the wild.

Award yourself one tin foil hat for an a or c answer, and two tin foil hats for answering d.

How do you make major life decisions?

a) Shake a Magic Eight Ball.

b) Wait until a response is overdue and bureaucracy makes the call for me.

c) “What would James Franco do?”

d) I await a sign. Typically, the hair stylist gets sick of waiting and just gives me the Rachel by default.

e) The rhythm method.

f) I don’t have time for decisions, I’ve got a line of cat handbags to design!

g) Quora.

Award yourself one tin foil hat for an a, b, or e answer, and two tin foil hats for answering f or g.

Explain the banana:

a) The ergonomic shape, color-coded ripeness key, and easy-open neck suggest the banana was designed with human consumption in mind by a supernatural engineer.

b) The ergonomic shape, color-coded ripeness key, and easy-open neck suggest the banana was designed with the 21st century juice-fast craze in mind by a supernatural engineer with an equity stake in Liquiteria.

c) They are a rich source of potassium so vital to humans that we developed opposing thumbs just so we could open them quicker.

d) Their comic sensibility suggests they were designed by a supernatural being with an absurdist sense of humor and fondness for improv theater sports.

e) They are the result of human cultivation of (asexual) banana mutations thousands of years ago so that we would have ergonomic cases for our Maui Jims today.

e) Bananas are everything that is wrong with this patriarchal society.

f) God’s little mistakes.

g) They are hobbits to the plantain’s elves.

Award yourself one tin foil hat for an a or d answer, and two tin foil hats for answering c or e.

When you shop for groceries,
you ask for the packer to use:

a) “paper bags, made from diminishing natural resources and transported long distances using fossil fuels, if possible.”

b) “paper bags (you’re welcome, Earth!), but double-bagged with plastic because let’s be honest, bags aren’t supposed to be made out of paper or we would be making cars out of paper.”

c) “single plastic bags packed efficiently, being scientifically the most environmentally low-impact option after reusable cotton totes.”

d) “my pockets—all of them,” as I plant the leg of my cargo pant on the checkout.

f) “these reusable, easily stashed bags made from recycled material, except for the bulk bin stuff, which I’ll just cup in my hands until I get home.”

e) “jazz hands.”

Award yourself one tin foil hat for an a answer, and two tin foil hats answering b.

What do you see in the below ink blot?

a) The will to believe

b) Nagging doubt

c) A piece of charred toast

d) Methodological flaws

e) A sign

f) An exploded pen

g) A reflection of my neuroses

h) The Dark Knight Rises

i) Elvis

f) Smugness

Award yourself one tin foil hat for answering d or e, and two tin foil hats for answering h or i.

If you take a substance and dilute it with water to the point where none of the original molecules remain, you have created:

a) water.

b) Vitamin Water.

c) a medicinal remedy.

d) a very exciting placebo.

e) gazpacho.

f) an analyte into which you can introduce a titrate to establish the precise volume with which total disbelief is reached.

g) Benghazi.

Award yourself one tin foil hat for answering b, and two tin foil hats for answering c.

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Tally up your tin foil hats!

0-2 tin foil hats

You are a mostly rational humanoid with enough irrationality to furnish a tin foil hat with antennae. Even with a tight aluminum wrap over your brain, you find that silly ideas sometimes find their way in. For the most part, logic and reasoning have the most sway over your beliefs, but enjoy putting your cerebellum into sleep mode once in a while, and letting your brain stem do the driving.

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3-5 tin foil hats

You are sometimes rational, with enough irrationality for a tin foil swan. A beloved member of your community, you like to pick up a dowsing stick from time to time and lead your friends, family, and production assistants to the deep, cooling waters of self-delusion. You have crafted a world in which you only expose yourself to those likely to compliment the tin foil swan that sits atop your proud brain mass.

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6-8 tin foil hats

You are a part-time rationalist, part-time space captain who has cobbled together enough nonsense over your lifetime to form a handsome tin foil crop circle. During moments of doubt, you think to yourself, “Perhaps I’m not wearing enough foil on my head. Maybe that is the problem,” because when actions fail to achieve the results you want, you know the sanest response is to double down in anticipation of a different result. You have a photo album devoted to Hale-Bopp, and look forward to a nice retirement on Xenu.

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9-12 tin foil hats

You are rarely rational, and have hoarded enough paranoia to create a tin foil replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module, made famous in the bogus 1969 moon landing. Not only does the thick, tin exoskeleton you wear keep your dura mater insulated from contrary beliefs, opinions and evidence, but it serves to keep the crazy underneath at an ideal temperature.