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I am apparently a Web Octopus

The Web Behaviour Test — I am apparently a web octopus.

In more detail …

The Web Behaviour Test Results

You are a Web Octopus

Fast-moving - Web Octopuses like you surf fast - just like real-world octopuses which use a form of ‘jet propulsion’ to escape predators.

Solitary - Real-world octopuses are independent animals and only rarely interact with each other. Similarly, when you are looking for information you tend to go it alone rather than rely on social networks or other sites whose content is created by its users.

Adaptable - Octopuses are highly adaptable and show a range of sophisticated behaviours. Your results show you are also able to keep track of several different things simultaneously, without your multitasking adversely affecting your performance.

How we worked out your web animal

Our web animals are just for fun, but the test is based on solid and rigorous science, so your results should tell you something interesting about your web behaviour.

Three aspects of your web behaviour were used to work out your web animal.

Adaptable or specialised?
We aren't always as good at multitasking as we think we are

The internet allows us to do lots of things at the same time. You might be listening to music and updating your blog while receiving news alerts and chatting online with friends. Then an email arrives. Can you switch seamlessly between different tasks? Or are you actually less efficient?

Indeed, a study from Stanford University in California suggests that people who spend their time multitasking might actually be less good at juggling tasks than non-multitaskers.

If you are an ‘adaptable’ web animal, then you scored highly on our tests that measured your ability to multitask. If your web animal is ‘specialised’, then you are probably better suited to taking on one task at a time.

Fast-moving or slow-moving?
Slow and steady sometimes wins the race

The internet helps people find information fast. Practice makes perfect, and its possible to learn techniques for getting to the information you need quickly. But speed isn’t the same as accuracy. The first answer you find isn’t necessarily the right answer.

We measured the time it took you to complete a series of search tasks. If you are a fast-moving web animal, you took less time than average. This maybe because you know exactly what you’re doing, but could also mean you missed important information. If you are a slow-moving web animal, this could be because you're less confident, that you focused on getting the right answer rather than the first one.

Social or solitary?
An online social life could influence the way you trust people

The internet has radically multiplied the ways in which we can meet new friends and stay in contact with existing ones. (Internet guru Clay Shirky once said that before the internet came along, the most recent technology that affected the way people sat down and talked to each other was the table.) So how social are you online?

If your web animal is social, you probably told us you spend quite a lot of time on social networking sites and that you tend to trust sites whose content is created by its users. If your web animal is solitary, you probably don’t socialise as much online and are inclined to trust sites whose content is produced in a more traditional, ‘authoritative’ way.

Social behaviour online is a fascinating area of study for our scientists. They would like to understand the relationship between time spent online and the type of information sources users choose to trust.


Explore all eight animals

Web Bear

Slow-moving - Web Bears like you browse the internet at a leisurely pace - just like real world bears who like to take their time over things.

Solitary - Like real bears, Web Bears tend to be solitary animals. Your results show that when you are looking for information, you are less likely to use social networks or other sites whose content is created by its users, preferring instead to go it alone.

Adaptable - Web Bears are highly adaptable multitaskers, able to do several things at the same time. Real-bears are also very flexible, particularly in their diet, and will eat fish, insects, salmon and even scavenge in human refuse for new sources of food.

Web Elephant

Slow-moving - Web Elephants like you browse the internet at a stately, methodical pace - just like real-world elephants who rarely see a reason to rush things.

Social - Real-world elephants and Web Elephants are both highly social. Real elephants are able to keep track of their own extended family trees and may even mourn love ones. As a Web Elephant, you often use social networking sites to keep track of your friends of family and are happy to rely on information from sites whose content is created by its users.

Adaptable - Real-world elephants owe their adaptability to their large brains and versatile trunks. As a Web Elephant you are similarly adaptable and are well-suited to carrying out several different tasks at the same time.

Web Fox

Fast-moving - Web Foxes like you are great at finding information quickly, just as real-world foxes are always ready to pounce on an opportunity.

Sociable - Foxes are highly social animals, maintaining complex relationships with the other members of their social group. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.

Adaptable - Web Foxes are highly adaptable multitaskers, able to do several things at the same time – just like real-world foxes who can rapidly change their behaviour to suit their environments.

Web Hedgehog

Slow-moving - Web Hedgehogs are careful internet users, taking their time to find the right information - just as the real-world hedgehog carefully searches out insects and berries.

Solitary - Hedgehogs lead mainly solitary lives and are happiest foraging for food of their own. In the ecology of the Internet, you also prefer to go it alone, rarely relying on information on social networks or other sites whose content is created by its users.

Specialised - The hedgehog relies for protection on its highly specialised ability to roll into a spiky ball. Similarly, your test suggests you are a specialised web user, best suited to concentrating on one thing at a time rather than attempting to multitask.

Web Leopard

Fast-moving - Web Leopards like you are adept at getting information from the internet very quickly. Your speed is a trait you share with real-world leopards, which are among the fastest land animals.

Solitary - Leopards live alone, fending for themselves in isolated home ranges. Similarly, the Web Leopard likes to go it alone when looking for information, rather than rely on social networks, or other sites where the users create the content.

Specialised - Web Leopards are best suited to performing one task at a time rather than multitasking. The real-world leopard is similarly specialised, being perfectly adapted to silently tracking its prey before pouncing.

Web Elk

Slow-moving - Web Elks like you take their time finding exactly the right morsels of information – just like the real-world elk who carefully browses for shoots and leaves to eat.

Sociable - Real-world elks are social and stay in herds to protect themselves from predators. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.

Specialised - Web Elks perform best when they focus on one thing at a time, rather than trying to multitask. Just as the real-world Elk is perfectly specialised for its environment, you have learned that while the web makes it possible to multitask, it’s not always the best approach.

Web Octopus

Fast-moving - Web Octopuses like you surf fast - just like real-world octopuses which use a form of ‘jet propulsion’ to escape predators.

Solitary - Real-world octopuses are independent animals and only rarely interact with each other. Similarly, when you are looking for information you tend to go it alone rather than rely on social networks or other sites whose content is created by its users.

Adaptable - Octopuses are highly adaptable and show a range of sophisticated behaviours. Your results show you are also able to keep track of several different things simultaneously, without your multitasking adversely affecting your performance.

Web Ostrich

Fast-moving - We can tell from your results that you are speedy surfer - one of the characteristics of the Web Ostrich, whose real-world counterpart has an impressive top speed of 45mph.

Sociable - The web is a social place. You take full advantage of this when you search for information by using social networks and other sites whose content is created by its users. Real-world ostriches are also highly social, even keeping eggs in each other’s nests to share the burden.

Specialised - The real-world ostrich is a true specialist, highly adapted to survive in hot, dusty African grasslands. You might not be at risk from lions when browsing the web, but you are still very focused. From your test we can tell you do best when you concentrate on one task at time, rather than several things at once.

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