It's one thing to have to take a test to get into college; it's another to sit down with a No. 2 pencil and fill in 126 little round circles on a computer-scanned answer sheet to find out if your significant other is Mr. or Ms. Right. But according to a pair of San Diego psychologists, the "Couples Report" is the ultimate "I Do IQ" test for those about to wed. "People spend all kinds of time and money planning for their wedding," says Nancy Haller, "but virtually nothing planning for their marriage."
For the past 10 years Haller and Louis Nidorf were business consultants, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality test, to help build more effective work teams. Then, several years ago, they decided that the test could give betrotheds similar insight. Since then, with a computer-based test and a counseling program, they have helped more than 50 couples understand their relationship better--all in about two hours. The test's multiple-choice questions gauge reactions to everyday
d-you-prefer-going-to-a-big-wild-party-or-spending-a-quiet-evening-at-home type of questions. The couple receive the test results in about a week, then they sit down with Haller, who helps them apply the personality analyses to their daily lives.
"It gives you an opportunity to take an objective look at yourself and your relationship, something that is pretty hard to get any other way," says one Couples Report graduate.
Both psychologists stress that there is no particular combination of qualities that is
more workable than another. "In a worst-case scenario," Haller says, "you'd have an extrovert/thinker/senser/judger paired with an introvert/feeler/intuiter/perceiver." The program, which costs $140, has not led to a breakup yet; after all, the key to a relationship is old-fashioned talking--something no amount of technology can improve on.