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Open Source Psychometrics Project

Development of the Nerdy Personality Attributes Scale

  24 December 2015

The Nerdy Personality Attributes Scale was developed to quantify what exactly nerdiness is. A criterion keyed approached was taken. In a series of surveys subjects were asked to rate a number of questions about their personality and then also report whether or not they considered themselves a nerd. The table in Appendix A summarises the data collected. In total, 445 items were screened. The table reports the correlations with the two criterion measures and the number of subjects each correlation is based on. The surveys were distributed in a number of forms and some data points were missing in some records. That explains the variation and discrepancies in sample sizes.

The NPAS was constructed by selecting the top 26 items that correlated with self reported nerdiness.

Appendix A: item screening statistics

Item Relation to yes/no nerd identification Relation to 5 point scale rated nerdiness
r n r n
I am an overall strange person.0.2776850.412686
I am a strange person.0.27105880.36210716
I would describe my smarts as bookish.0.29435740.343608
I like science fiction.0.247129650.339739
I was a very odd child.0.242129800.3249760
I am interested in science.0.23198780.3089990
I sometimes prefer fictional people to real ones.0.239103320.30510457
I love to read challenging material.0.228104970.30310633
I can be socially awkward at times.0.2230120.3013038
I gravitate towards introspection.0.194100030.29110114
I watch science related shows.0.213135430.2913717
I would rather read a book than go to a party.0.229106220.2910746
I like to play RPGs. (Ex. D&D)0.237105650.2910694
I care about super heroes.0.229122830.2849761
I was in advanced classes.0.206122550.2829740
I am more comfortable with my hobbies than I am with other people.0.19100450.28210160
I spend recreational time researching topics others might find dry or overly rigorous.0.20930120.2813040
I have played a lot of video games.0.203125200.289759
I prefer academic success to social success.0.218105990.27210730
I have started writing a novel.0.17998780.2679176
I spend more time at the library than any other public place.0.21197670.2649870
I get excited about my ideas and research.0.18797330.2639842
I collect books.0.186123060.2639173
I like to read technology news reports.0.19797520.2629853
I enjoy learning more than I need to.0.199123810.26112534
I like to make references to books or movies.0.21530100.2593037
I read a lot of fiction.0.202125990.2599773
My appearance is not as important as my intelligence.0.20730200.2583050
I often become obsessed when developing new interests.0.1732070.2543230
I enjoy learning for the sake of it.0.20130020.2533030
I like to solve complex problems.0.18499070.2529850
I am more comfortable interacting online than in person.0.19230230.2513052
I have stayed up all night playing videos game.0.1786910.25690
I think about the future of humanity.0.14118330.2428594
I get obsessed with certain things.0.177118030.2418572
I spend most of my time in my own world.0.18686010.248684
I like to read.0.1389630.234976
When someone I know needs has computer trouble they ask me for advice/assistance.0.1659810.234986
I am excited by space.0.17685800.2338664
I would rather read a book than watch TV.0.168118000.22911943
When someone I know needs has computer trouble they ask me for advice.0.16279230.2268010
Enjoy going to fiction conventions.0.20510570.2191070
I think it is cool to be an outsider.0.159112570.2187997
I do not find myself being interested in social trends.0.1149830.217987
I have a rich vocabulary.0.15289310.2168862
I spend time reflecting on things.0.1148630.213874
I know every element on the periodic table.0.14210520.2111063
My interests are not understood by most people.0.1610530.211064
I suffer from paralysing social inadequacy.0.147111190.2097988
I like to be alone.0.1638650.208870
I enjoy tinkering with things.0.14334970.2073524
I like to read theories on the internet.0.14710650.2021078
I tend to vote for liberal political candidates.0.1199570.202963
I read Wikipedia.0.12838940.23946
I have a strong need to correct inaccurate information.0.14210480.1991059
I like staying indoors.0.1410650.1961078
I prefer to spend time with machines than with people.0.1499820.195987
I love to read fanfiction.0.14838990.1923951
I have a collection of figurines.0.1438920.1913948
I believe in the importance of art.0.11916250.191874
I prefer to eat alone.0.132112470.1887992
I am pro-feminism.0.14438970.1863955
I think often how life first began.0.11510610.1851073
I am really arrogant about how intelligent I am.0.133112480.1857999
I only have a small group of friends.0.1675030.184511
I go out of my way to attend educational events.0.1629580.184964
I love knowing the finer details of obscure historic events.0.13338970.1833955
I easily get obsessed with things.0.1389800.183985
I find alien abductions more plausible than ghost hauntings.0.108108540.187998
I like having my own calculator.0.1366870.179688
I am awkward around strangers but very comfortable around friends.0.1810650.1791078
I am not popular at school or work.0.13830210.1763050
I don't care if I conform to societal norms0.0919820.175987
I have taken apart machines just to see how they work.0.12108470.1757993
I am full of ideas.0.1588620.173872
I prefer cyber relationships to face to face communication.0.1339030.1713961
I enjoy learning new vocabulary.0.0999760.171981
I wish I were more assertive.0.1534890.17495
I am critical of others intelligence.0.1459830.167988
The things I think about are not acceptable to society.0.10325230.1662541
I get paranoid when someone laughs near me.0.10611730.1651180
I am good at something not many people are good at.0.076850.164686
Most people are ignorant and stupid.0.1036870.163688
I have a vivid imagination.0.10918250.1631848
I get lost in thought, when the conversation is of no interest.0.07832060.1623229
I panic easily.0.0489640.159978
I dislike being the center of attention.0.0828680.156876
I am not very interested in physical sports.0.11439080.1563962
I would not enjoy being a famous celebrity.0.1348960.155904
I enjoy revisiting old pieces of information.0.1410590.1531072
I am bad at describing myself.0.09630790.1522537
I am constantly reflecting about myself.0.148650.151870
I know a lot about one particular thing.0.13610620.151075
I do not care about having high social status.0.1734880.148494
I like trivia competitions.0.11339040.1483962
I can handle complex problems.0.09717480.1461759
I don't like to draw attention to myself.0.0878640.146875
I like to wear clothes that I find are comfortable to me, style does not matter.0.1026860.145687
I feel my anxiety overwhelms me.0.10731190.1442542
I am not good at sports.0.10430120.1443040
I like to collect trading cards.0.12130080.1433036
I have a hard time meeting people of the opposite sex.0.14310530.1421064
I have mental images of horrible things.0.08325220.1382537
I liked math class the most.0.099113570.1388585
I am unaware of social norms.0.09238940.1363948
I am underestimated.0.0389820.135987
I carry the conversation to a higher level.0.10410200.131870
I love writing poetry.0.07739020.133959
I love musical theater.0.09339090.133957
I return extra change when a cashier makes a mistake.0.0288840.128890
I believe in aliens.0.066850.128686
I would like to invent something amazing.0.08838970.1213955
I am extremely dedicated to a single or few interests.0.0526860.12687
I sometimes get lost in my daydreams.0.1229000.119906
My hobbies are more important than my health.0.07939020.1193960
I make a lot of puns.0.1334880.118494
When it comes to judging people, I base it on intelligence solely.0.08610650.1171077
I cannot tell jokes well.0.1445030.116511
I dislike drama and gossip.0.09710420.1161052
I see beauty in things that others might not notice.0.07117510.1151762
People tend not to like me.0.08439030.1153962
I tend to question things around me that people take for granted.0.0749830.109988
I avoid mistakes.0.0748630.108868
I raise my hand because I often know the answer.0.07410590.1071071
I like to dress up in old-timey fashion.0.0415020.105510
I continue until everything is perfect.0.0388650.104870
I do not like to go out on the town.0.104108130.1048009
I have a large collection of movies.0.0346860.1687
I hate bullies.0.049820.096987
I have thoughts of injuring myself.0.0898840.096891
I would never smoke cigarettes.0.144900.092496
I would never cheat on my taxes.0.0919610.088968
I copy others.0.0789610.088968
People are too judgmental.0.0459800.087985
I am angry when another person is wrong about my interest topic.0.06939040.0863961
I love tutoring others.0.07410570.0861069
I need structure and rigidity.0.04538910.0853949
I like to watch figure skating.0.0598990.083906
I quickly lose interest in the tasks I start.0.0319640.083971
I am a physical coward.0.0768970.081905
I am not comfortable with myself but not motivated to change who I am.0.04210650.0811078
I worry about what people think of me.0.08210260.08869
I try to identify the reasons for my actions. 0.0689650.078970
I have a broad outlook on what is going on.0.0828630.077868
I try to surpass others' accomplishments.0.0938620.075867
I feel like people often are out to get something from me.0.0439600.073967
I don't care about dressing nicely.0.0438650.072874
I am always worried that my partner is going to leave me.0.0378650.072870
I have no friends.0.099770.07982
I like talking with like-minded people.0.026870.07688
I do things in a logical order.0.0418640.069869
I am easily controlled by others in my life.0.0339640.066978
I am easily intimidated.0.0658820.065889
I find that it takes a lot to make me feel angry at someone.0.0389610.064968
I reveal little about myself.0.018880.063893
I often eat too much.0.0628680.063876
I find it easy to manipulate others.0.039630.062970
I am not buff.0.07539110.0613955
I spend less than 5 hours a week with my friends.0.04311770.0561184
I work hard.0.098640.056873
I watch documentaries frequently.0.0544860.055492
I am concerned about others.-0.0279630.052976
I want everything to be "just right."0.0249600.051966
I am very concerned about germs.0.05925210.0492540
I work very hard and pay attention to detail.0.0459820.046986
I am deeply moved by others' misfortunes.-0.0058840.046890
I am a picky eater.0.0125300.0452545
I suffer from others' sorrows.0.019630.045977
I express my thanks to those who care about me.0.0259000.043908
I am good at making impromptu speeches.0.0319640.043978
I hate extreme temperatures.-0.0110630.0421076
I like nature & wild life very much.0.019830.042988
I am always prepared.0.03419290.041947
I love my enemies.0.0379000.038908
I am a spiritual person.0.0098660.037871
I see strange figures or visions when nothing is really there.0.0269660.034980
I am never too busy to help a friend.-0.0048970.033905
I respect the opinions of others.-0.0348820.031889
I would never take things that aren't mine.0.00533700.0311782
I would never go hang gliding or bungee jumping.-0.00618620.0281884
Television has educational properties.0.03910650.0271078
I take advantage of others.0.0059610.025968
Learning body language is very important.-0.0439780.023983
I seldom get mad.0.04115590.021975
I don't care what others think.0.0218650.02874
I rarely overindulge.0.039630.019977
I insult people.0.0718850.018891
I neglect my duties.-0.0318630.015874
I do not always wash my hands after using the bathroom.-0.01925130.0152530
I get things done quickly.0.0888630.015874
I remain calm under pressure.-0.0049620.008969
I cry during movies.0.0479630.006976
I don't like to dress up in costumes.0.003488-0.003494
I have a soft heart.-0.014961-0.007968
I worry a lot about catching a serious illness.-0.02897-0.009905
I have a lot of fun.0.0171745-0.0111762
I jump into things without thinking.-0.012861-0.014866
I am easy to satisfy.-0.014863-0.015868
I always admit it when I make a mistake.-0.002966-0.018980
I would make a good actor.-0.017967-0.021979
I do things without thinking of the consequences.-0.037962-0.021970
I like to watch children open presents.-0.035881-0.022887
I trust others.-0.016966-0.025980
I act without consulting others.-0.01963-0.025975
I love to drink fine wine.-0.0313901-0.0253959
I am calm even in tense situations.0.013964-0.026978
I feel lucky most of the time.-0.046899-0.027907
I love watching videos of pranks.-0.0389039-0.0288584
I know how to enjoy myself.-0.041884-0.029891
I am not concerned with making a good impression.0.001963-0.03977
I am not easily affected by my emotions.-0.001881-0.034888
I stick to my chosen path.-0.031861-0.035866
I don't pretend to be more than I am.-0.026958-0.035972
I rarely complain.-0.037899-0.037907
I keep my emotions under control.-0.021866-0.039875
I know how to get around the rules.-0.034865-0.042870
I seldom get emotional.-0.033860-0.044869
I feel comfortable with myself.-0.0521765-0.0471779
I dare to say anything.-0.007866-0.051871
I see little need for romance in my life.-0.041886-0.052892
I believe that my success depends on ability rather than luck.-0.033963-0.054970
I deserve special treatment from others.-0.031898-0.054906
I do not like reading or hearing opinions that go against my way of thinking.-0.004887-0.056893
I always know why I do things.-0.088885-0.059892
I like to get in physical fights.-0.053491-0.06497
I am often out for revenge.-0.075899-0.062907
I have always been a rule-breaker.-0.0849439-0.0659555
I get chores done right away.-0.056884-0.071891
I am not easily bothered by things.-0.03896-0.083904
I maintain high energy throughout the day.-0.052960-0.09967
I have gotten drunk in public.-0.109683-0.091684
I express my affection physically.-0.045864-0.092869
I experience very few emotional highs and lows.-0.025964-0.092978
I love dangerous situations.-0.057885-0.094891
I radiate joy.-0.0962677-0.0942539
I seldom feel blue.-0.065894-0.096902
I adjust easily.-0.11900-0.096908
I shout or scream when I'm angry.-0.05963-0.098970
I take charge.-0.062959-0.099964
I don't mind being the center of attention.-0.0798477-0.0998585
I like to stand during the national anthem.-0.064962-0.099975
I act wild and crazy.-0.079883-0.104890
I make friends easily.-0.071899-0.106907
I take the initiative.-0.094897-0.111905
I am considered attractive by others.-0.088862-0.119867
I feel comfortable around people.-0.13510240-0.18110356
I am the life of the party.-0.1261062-0.186909
I am nerdy.0.687326410
I have difficulty expressing my feelings.0.15916050
I like physics.0.15226450
After I finish a conversation, I spend much more time thinking about things I should have said.0.1435680
I can write computer programs.0.1432260
I am not very athletic.0.13711000
I am fascinated by disgusting things.0.13612150
I do not like sports.0.13411080
I have to admit to being very crude sometimes.0.1328150
I was romantically unsuccessful as a young person.0.13112180
My real life occurs on-line.0.12511030
I choose my words with care.0.1251620
I hate looking at pictures of me as a baby.0.1245670
I have memorized many digits of pi (π).0.1225170
I have lots of my own theories.0.12112170
I have read a lot of comic books.0.1233460
My handwriting is very difficult for other people to read.0.11812190
I find maps extremely interesting.0.1157560
I pay attention to instructions.0.1147550
I wish I could control my flinching better.0.1135650
I leave a mess in my room.0.11216000
I am always doing several things at the same time.0.1111630
I like to gross people out.0.1111030
I feel attacked by others.0.1116000
I always have a hard time explaining how I am feeling.0.1075180
I had good grades in school.0.10410990
I would create a second fake identity if I could.0.10312200
I find taking care of people annoying.0.10111010
I run my fingers through my hair all the time.0.133390
I watch anime.0.128800
I look at maps of places I will never go.0.0977550
Most people are not like me.0.09711010
I have very strong political views.0.0977540
I dig the ear wax out of my ear.0.0965670
People often catch me staring at them.0.09612170
I like to play devils advocate.0.0965650
I have kept a personal journal.0.0958160
I have a bad memory for faces.0.0947540
I have been very interested in historical wars.0.09412150
I think about the causes of my emotions.0.0935980
I have been alone on my birthday.0.0938080
I never really smile.0.0937540
I like to hang pictures or posters on my wall.0.0938160
I think most people are too superficial.0.09311020
I purchase only practical things.0.0921610
I often think about the fate of the human race.0.0911030
I have frequent mood swings.0.0895980
I would get my pet genetically engineered to be healthier, if possible.0.08811010
I let other people take the credit for my work.0.08716020
I have considered joining the military.0.0878170
I tend to feel very hopeless.0.0871610
I chew on leaves or grass sometimes.0.0865670
I have a monotone voice.0.08612120
I have been fascinated by historical horrors (e.g. the holocaust).0.0845170
I wish I could take drugs to make me more intelligent.0.0846850
I look for hidden meanings in things.0.08316040
I enjoy improv comedy.0.0835160
I hate change.0.0835170
I have thought about taking up a martial art.0.0795620
I do not drink much alcohol.0.07812180
I wish magic was real.0.0777530
I am trusted to keep secrets.0.0755980
I write poetry.0.0757550
I have edited Wikipedia.0.0756860
I have wished I was a hacker.0.0755670
I find it difficult to guess peoples ages.0.07312180
I sometimes feel like crying when I get angry.0.0728170
I wish my friends were more possessive of me.0.0726850
I use the computer all day long.0.0725190
I enjoy cracking my joints.0.07111040
I am easily distracted by small sounds.0.076000
I am sometimes overcome with the wish to be someone else.0.06912190
I have never felt a strong desire to have children.0.06912150
I hate pop culture.0.06810990
My favourite characters tend to be villains.0.0685090
I am exacting in my work.0.06816030
I don't follow sports.0.0667550
I can play a musical instrument.0.06412130
I have had a crush on a teacher.0.06312170
I have been asked to stop staring at someone.0.0625980
I have thought about setting someone's property on fire in anger.0.0628160
I have to hide my face sometimes when watching something embarrassing.0.06212190
I do not like getting interrupted.0.0616040
I sit on chairs strangely.0.0595160
I have gone a very long time without showering.0.0585160
I liked to build dams in creeks when I was young.0.0588130
I connect the way I am now to specific events in my childhood.0.0577550
I try to please everyone.0.0541610
I have a good word for everyone.0.0535970
I watch my favourite movies over and over.0.05312170
I did not get the support I needed from my parents.0.0528140
I strongly feel others' embarrassment.0.05211000
I find nothing excites me.0.0515980
I like electronic music.0.05112150
I learn quickly.0.051600
I idly put things in my mouth.0.057530
I have thought about what I would do, and how I would survive, as an animal.0.0495150
I like stand up comedy.0.0485180
I like for people to think of me as mysterious.0.0487530
I sometimes have the urge to say inappropriate things, just to see how people react.0.04712200
I do not like to get drunk.0.0466860
I am always busy.0.0445980
I experience my emotions intensely.0.04316000
I don't clap at shows.0.048150
People often make assumptions about me, and I hate that.0.0396850
I follow directions.0.03816020
I love how cute animals are.0.0376870
I love animals.0.0377560
I have taken frequent stands in the face of strong opposition.0.0376000
I sometimes feel angry for no reason.0.0365170
I accidentally break things a lot.0.03212190
I don't miss group meetings or team practices. 0.031610
I try to make myself look different than other people.0.02912160
I think it would be interesting to have multiple personality disorder.0.0286860
I worry about falling victim to a scam.0.0276810
I get angry easily.0.0276000
I know my mother's birthday.0.0255660
I am willing to take risks to establish a relationship.0.0241630
I care about others.0.0236000
I am disgusted by drunken people.0.0217550
I prize logic and hate emotions.0.0211620
I have difficulty telling stories.0.01912160
I ought to have more goals.0.0196820
I boss people around.0.01916040
I do not eat on the normal schedule.0.0175650
I associate emotions with tastes.0.0167530
I am still hurting from something that happened a long time ago.0.0168130
I never ask for what I want.0.01511010
I am not a morning person.0.0125150
I get back at others.0.0125980
I'd rather die of thirst than of bee stings.0.0112160
I would attack bug colonies (e.g. ants, bees) when I was young.0.0119200
When watching movies, special effects are not that important to me.0.0056860
I would enjoy employing servants.0.0046820
I always answer messages (letters, emails, missed calls) right away.0.0035680
I feel nature is more powerful than humans.0.0025640
When I was a child, I put on fake concerts and plays with my friends.0.00212170
I'd rather be famous than wealthy.0.0015680
I tend to be friends with people individually, not part of a group of friends.0.0015180
I accomplish my work on time.-01620
I have a secret stash of money.-0.0065660
I am easily spooked in the dark.-0.00615000
If I had the opportunity to go to a circus, I probably would.-0.0086830
I prefer variety to routine.-0.0096000
I am interested in my family's genealogy.-0.016840
I anticipate the needs of others.-0.0115980
I wish I understood myself more.-0.017540
I wish I could read minds.-0.015670
I clap even if I did not like the performance.-0.018140
I find making things more dangerous makes them more fun.-0.01111040
I have thought about what I would do if I ran a restaurant.-0.0126850
I pirate media.-0.0125110
I think I may have walked in my sleep.-0.01312150
I would be very hurt if someone accused me of being uncaring.-0.01419180
I think a lot about if the food I eat is healthy.-0.01512160
I do not want to have to change for people.-0.0155150
I can never tell if someone is lying.-0.01712170
I am good at taking advice.-0.0176000
I rarely get irritated.-0.0195990
I have thought about buying some gold.-0.0215640
I sometimes skip breakfast.-0.02312210
I push myself very hard to succeed.-0.02316030
I decorate my room.-0.02512170
I like to gamble.-0.02619190
I keep myself well-groomed.-0.0276000
I feel powerful when I feel angry.-0.0287520
It feels gross when my joints crack.-0.038140
I am either very skinny or very fat, not average weight.-0.0325170
I listen to the radio a lot.-0.0326850
I talk a lot.-0.03316010
I make people feel welcome.-0.0355970
For me, smells and sounds are always bring back memories.-0.0366840
I get homesick.-0.03812160
I do not understand why most people like music so much.-0.0455650
I spend more money than I have.-0.04516030
I would enjoy hosting a formal party.-0.04612140
I try to not watch too much television.-0.0465650
I have no interests that do not involve the computer.-0.0475180
I go straight for the goal.-0.0495980
I like inspirational quotes.-0.05112190
I work out at the gym.-0.0536850
I have an excellent physique.-0.0586850
I find the world a very interesting place.-0.0591630
I don't get nosebleeds.-0.0612120
I sleep mostly on my back.-0.06112110
I take good care of my body.-0.0637560
I wish I went to more parties.-0.0676840
I really fear close spaces.-0.0698140
I'd trade some of my intelligence for a lifetime of happiness.-0.075650
I want me and my friends to do everything together.-0.075180
I like small talk.-0.07211040
I love excitement.-0.08216030
I get confused easily.-0.0841620
I automatically take charge.-0.0866000
I am good at telling if someone is bored.-0.08716030
I accept people as they are.-0.0881630
I never worry about how I am supposed to act.-0.0895680
I value cooperation over competition.-0.091630
I have a good sense of smell.-0.0916870
I listen to my feelings when making important decisions.-0.09216040
I am relaxed most of the time. -0.09316030
I would be interested in getting my fortune told.-0.09912190
I check how I look before I leave the house.-0.1016860
I believe that there are universal truths.-0.1031630
I am a bundle of joy.-0.10612180
I am able to fit into any situation.-0.11616030
I prefer to participate fully rather than view life from the sidelines.-0.14616010
I don't mind being the center of attention-0.16516050