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Existential Compass Test

Based on the work of Rollo May

The Existential Compass Matrix assesses your attitudes towards responsibility and freedom while evaluating anxious tendencies to deliver a composite result reflecting your existential attitudes and resilience.

Inspired by theories of existential psychologist Rollo May, this test measures resilience towards existential conditions and evaluates resilience by measuring these factors against inherent anxieties.

What is your existential attitude? For each of the following statements, indicate how well it describes you below.

Question 1 of 34

I understand what typically triggers my anxiety and how to handle it.



The IDRlabs Existential Compass Matrix Test is inspired by theories of existential psychologist Rollo May and research into existential attitudes and anxious sensibilities.

The Resilient Navigator (High Existential Freedom, Good Anxiety Management): Represents individuals who score high on both axes of Freedom and Responsibility and Anxiety Awareness and Management in the existential matrix. These individuals exhibit a strong sense of personal agency and take active control of their life path, making decisions confidently and in alignment with their core values and beliefs. They feel empowered to shape their destiny, embrace challenges, and are comfortable with the responsibilities that come with their choices. In terms of managing anxiety, Resilient Navigators are adept at recognizing signs of stress and implementing effective strategies to manage it. They possess a high level of emotional intelligence, enabling them to maintain composure under pressure and recover quickly from setbacks. Their resilience is marked by a balanced approach to life's uncertainties and challenges, and they possess a robust toolkit for coping with stress. Overall, Resilient Navigators lead lives characterized by proactive decision-making, self-awareness, and the ability to navigate life's complexities with a sense of optimism and strength. Their resilience and responsible freedom allow them to adapt and thrive in various situations, making them effective and fulfilled individuals.

The Steady Planner (Low Existential Freedom, Good Anxiety Management): Denotes an archetype that emerges in individuals who display a high level of anxiety awareness and management coupled with a lower perception of personal freedom and responsibility. Typically cautious and methodical, these individuals are adept at managing stress and anxiety, often employing well-developed coping strategies to navigate life’s uncertainties. Despite their proficiency in handling anxiety, they tend to perceive themselves as having limited control over their life's direction, often adhering to established norms or external expectations rather than pursuing personal desires or ambitions. Steady Planners are reliable and pragmatic, valuing stability and predictability in their routines. They are likely to be thoughtful and considerate, carefully assessing risks before making decisions. While they may not frequently step out of their comfort zone or challenge the status quo, their strength lies in their ability to maintain emotional balance and provide a sense of security and consistency, both for themselves and those around them. Their approach to life is characterized by a preference for planning, organization, and steady, incremental progress toward goals.

The Adventurous Seeker (High Existential Freedom, Poor Anxiety Management): Refers to those who embody a unique combination of high personal freedom and lower anxiety management. These individuals are characterized by their strong sense of autonomy, willingness to take risks, and eagerness to embrace new experiences. They confidently make choices that align with their personal values and interests, often pursuing unconventional paths or exploring uncharted territories. However, despite their independence and zest for life, Adventurous Seekers may struggle with effectively managing anxiety. They might face challenges in recognizing and coping with stress and could experience heightened anxiety in response to the uncertainty and unpredictability of their adventurous choices. Their resilience in the face of adversity might be inconsistent, occasionally leading to feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed. Overall, the Adventurous Seeker is a dynamic and spirited individual, passionately pursuing freedom and self-expression, yet simultaneously working on developing better strategies to manage the anxieties and stresses that come with a life less ordinary.

The Cautious Wanderer (Low Existential Freedom, Poor Anxiety Management): Denotes a profile that emerges from a low sense of personal freedom and responsibility, coupled with struggles in managing anxiety. Individuals fitting this archetype often feel constrained by their circumstances and might believe that external factors largely dictate their life’s path. They may exhibit hesitancy in making significant decisions, leaning towards choices that appear safe or are dictated by societal or external expectations rather than personal conviction or ambition. Their approach to anxiety management is similarly challenged. These people may have difficulty recognizing and addressing their anxieties effectively. They might be prone to feeling overwhelmed in stressful situations, and their coping mechanisms may not always be effective, leading to avoidance or indecision. This often results in a state of caution and hesitancy, where taking risks or stepping outside of comfort zones is rare. Despite these challenges, The Cautious Wanderer often embodies a thoughtful and reflective nature. They may benefit from developing stronger self-awareness, confidence in their personal agency, and more robust strategies for anxiety management to navigate life with greater assurance and less apprehension.

The IDRlabs Existential Compass Matrix is inspired by the insights of psychologist Rollo May. While the IDRlabs Existential Compass Matrix is based on psychological theories, it cannot be used to provide clinical assessments or an accurate evaluation of your personality. Clinical assessments should always be done in cooperation with a mental health professional. For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. The Existential Compass Matrix is provided to you free of charge and allows you to obtain your scores related to existential attitudes in a plotted matrix model.

2. Statistical controls. Test scores are logged into an anonymized database. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

3. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally in psychology and individual differences research.