The Academic Arrogant Self-Important Snooty Quiz

2 September 2014, 1512 EDT

As I was traveling back from APSA on Sunday, I completed all of the journal reviews that I had on my desk, ran some regressions for new projects, and then completed all the revisions my coauthors are requesting from me currently.[1]  With the remaining few hours I had on the flight, I noticed a Cosmo magazine[2] in the seat-pocket next to me and quickly went to work finding out what kind of female I am and how much I really know about Beyonce.  The quizzes got me thinking: we don’t have a lot of personality quizzes for us as academics but – based on my participant observations at this past APSA – we really need some.

Thanks to a great discussion with a friend, I’d like to announce The Academic Arrogant Self-Important Snooty (A.S.S.) Quiz – in the next five questions, you will find out whether you are an academic A.S.S.  This information could be useful as you attend the next conference or try to interact with those around you.

  1.  When a discussant asks for a paper by Friday (a week before the conference), do you:
    1. Send the paper by Friday (+1 point)
    2. Send the paper on Sunday with a note explaining the circumstances of the delay (+2 points)
    3. Send the paper on Thursday at 10:00 pm before the 8:00 am Friday panel, expecting comments nonetheless (+4 points)
  2.  It’s 10:25 am and the conference elevator is packed before a 10:30 panel.  Do you:
    1. Take the stairs (+1 point)
    2. Announce to everyone that you have to be on the elevator due to your appearance on the next panel (+ 2 points)
    3. Continue to have coffee at an area coffee-shop.  The panel will start when you arrive (+4 points)
  3. At a conference event, you notice a person you’ve never met sitting next to you.  You glance at their nametag and:
    1. Introduce yourself and ask about their work (+1 point)
    2. Introduce yourself and ask if they’ve seen your newest publication (+2 points)
    3. Only talk to them if they are at a university in the top-10 (+4 points)
  4. A grad student at another university has emailed you wanting to meet at APSA.  You:
    1. Email them suggesting a time that works (+1 point)
    2. Email them to decline – it isn’t a senior faculty member, of course (+2 points)
    3. Email them only if their advisor can help secure you an outside offer (+4 points)
    4. Never email them back – you don’t email peons (+8 points)
  5. Your panel chair has requested that presenters limit their comments to 12 minutes.  Do you:
    1. Try to stay close to the 12 minute mark (+1 point)
    2. End quickly when the chair provides you a sign indicating you are over the time limit (+2 points)
    3. Continue to talk for 10+ minutes more.  The whole audience came to see you, of course! (+4 points)


5 to 10 points – Congrats!  It doesn’t appear that you are an academic A.S.S.  This might change as you become more ingrained into the profession.

10 to 15 points – You appear to be a normal academic.   Be watchful of the signs of pre-A.S.S., like (a) trying to get an invite to an open bar event hosted by an Ivy League School or (b) hanging out in the conference lobby too much with your nametag on.

15 to 20 points – You are in the full-blown, chronic stages of A.S.S.   Please consider a self-help program or, at the very least, try to at least agree to review something once in a while.


[1] Of course I did.

[2] I’d never buy that filth!