Do you know a jerk? Chances are you do.

The driver who cut you up on the roundabout this morning might spring to mind

Perhaps there is a co-worker who constantly looks down their nose at you.

Well now, an expert has created a questionnaire to help someone determine whether or not they fall into the bracket of being a jerk.


The five-question quiz determines someone's level of 'jerkitude' by asking how people would respond in certain events.

It was created by Professor Eric Schwitzgebel, from the University of California, Riverside, for entertainment purposes only.

Despite there being no official scientific definition for a jerk, he defines one as "someone who fails to appreciate the perspectives of others around them".

They also treat other people as tools to be manipulated or fools to be dealt with, as opposed to peers.

He jokingly said they struggle to understand their behaviour because of their complete disregard of the opinions of those around them.

Many jerks have a high moral opinion of themselves - or at least a moderate one, he believes.

Professor Schwitzgebel said the personality of jerks is closest to narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathic personality.

He added: "Narcissists regard themselves as more important than the people around them, which jerks also implicitly or explicitly do.

"And yet narcissism is not quite jerkitude, since it also involves a desire to be the center of attention, a desire that jerks don't always have.

"Machiavellian personalities tend to treat people as tools they can exploit for their own ends, which jerks also do.

"And yet this too is not quite jerkitude, since Machivellianism involves self-conscious cynicism, while jerks can often be ignorant of their self-serving tendencies.

"People with psychopathic personalities are selfish and callous, as is the jerk, but they also incline toward impulsive risk-taking, while jerks can be calculating and risk-averse."

Take the jerk quiz yourself


1. You're waiting in a line at the pharmacy. What are you thinking?

(a) Did I forget anything on my shopping list?

(b) Should I get ibuprofen or acetaminophen? I never can keep them straight.

(c) Oh no, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to bump you.

(d) These people are so damned incompetent! Why do I have to waste my time with these fools?

2. At the staff meeting, Peter says that your proposal probably won't work. You think:

(a) Hm, good point but I bet I could fix that.

(b) Oh, Loretta is smiling at Peter again. I guess she agrees with him and not me, darn it. But I still think my proposal is probably better than his.

(c) Shoot, Peter's right. I should have thought of that!

(d) Peter the big flaming ass. He's playing for the raise. And all the other idiots here are just eating it up!

3. You see a thirty-year-old guy walking down the street with steampunk goggles, pink hair, dirty sneakers, and badly applied red lipstick. You think:

(a) Different strokes for different folks!

(b) Hey, is that a new donut shop on the corner?

(c) I wish I were that brave. I bet he knows how to have fun.

(d) Get a job already. And at least learn how to apply the frickin lipstick.

4. At a stop sign, a pedestrian is crossing slowly in front of your car. You think:

(a) Wow, this tune on my radio has a fun little beat!

(b) My boss will have my hide if I'm late again. Why did I hit snooze three times?

(c) She looks like she's seen a few hard knocks. I bet she has a story or two to tell.

(d) Can't this bozo walk any faster? What a lazy slob!

5. The server at the restaurant forgets that you ordered the hamburger with chili. There's the burger on the table before you, with no chili. You think:

(a) Whatever. I'll get the chili next time. Fewer calories anyway.

(b) Shoot, no chili. I really love chili on a burger! Argh, let's get this fixed. I'm hungry!

(c) Wow, how crowded this place is. She looks totally slammed. I'll try catch her to fix the order next time she swings by.

(d) You know, there's a reason that people like her are stuck in loser jobs like this. If I was running this place I'd fire her so fast you'd hear the sonic boom two miles down the street.


How many times did you answer (d)?

0: Sorry, I don't believe you.

1-2: Yeah, fair enough. Same with the rest of us.

3-4: Ouch. Is this really how you see things most of the time? I hope you're just being too hard on yourself.

5: Yes, you are being too hard on yourself. Either that, or please step forward for the true-blue jerk gold medal!