A psychologist believes paperclips could offer a window into a person's personality. / iStock/xxmmxx

Is your personality type the 'hulk', 'paranoid', 'social climber', or 'upright citizen'?

The paperclip may seem like a humble piece of bent metal, but the way it is warped and manipulated as people daydream can give an insight into their personality, according to a top psychiatrist.

Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Mario Gmür first considered that the paperclip could be a window into a person’s character, quirks and hidden desires when he watched his patients fiddle with the stationary in his office. 

His personality quiz – comparable to the Rorschach blotch test – is laid out in his new book The Paperclip Test

"The test provides you with a profile tht matches your personality - or describes the type of person you'd like to be - and it can even reveal unconcious character traits," Gmür writes in the book

"It's not a test that should be taken too seriously, but my many guinea pigs' results have shown that it comes astonishingly close to the mark." 

To try out some pop-psychology, select the image of a paperclip below that most attracts you and scroll down to see what your choice reveals about your character.  









1) The hulk: You like to stick with things as they are, only making changes when absolutely necessary. You respect other people and their work, and you do not seek to impose your creative vision or plans. It does not occur to you to adapt existing objects and use them for new purposes: you see value in their intended function and original design. Appearances are not important to you, and you have little time for purely ornamental features. Simple shapes appeal more to you than complex figures, and decorative flourishes arouse suspicion.

2) The paranoid: You are nimble and respond quickly to new developments, but you are constantly on the lookout for danger and flee at the slightest hint of a threat. You have the pace and agility to throw off your pursuers, and your deep-seated distrust allows you to see them coming from a distance – unless blind panic has already set in. Despite your natural inquisitiveness and energy, you struggle to muster the courage to venture beyond your familiar environment or embark on new adventures and can often be found at home. You are wary of anything new or unknown.

The Paperclip Test by Mario Gmur (Square Peg/Penguin Random House)

3) The social climber: Motivated, determined and dependable, you are the sort of person that everyone wants to have around. You work hard and with integrity to achieve your goals. Moving step by step, you tick off each stage until you reach the top. Before you start working on the next task, you make sure that the current one is watertight. Fair-minded and polite, you would not dream of stealing other people’s glory or claiming their achievements as your own. You are committed to self-improvement.

4) The upright citizen: You are an upright person in every sense of the word: you stand tall and have nothing to hide. You walk through life with your head held high, but you never seem stuck-up or condescending. You are thoughtful and reflective, but you tend towards complacency. You value directness and want the world to be straightforward. People often come to you for advice. You wear your largesse with modesty.

The Paperclip Test, published by Square Peg, is out on 3 November