A Definition of Authentic Existence
    and an Authenticity Test


     The first two chapters of this book contain about 100 questions,
which are intended to help you evaluate your own growth toward Authenticity.
Of course, questions, which must necessarily ask about facts of your life,
cannot get to the real core of Authenticity—your reasons and motives.
Also, questions can only sample your life at random.
If you smoke (Question #4), this behavior stands for hundreds of other 'choices'
you have made because of peer pressure rather than personal autonomy.
And giving up smoking will not make you a more Authentic person
unless it is part of a much broader change toward deciding for yourself.
Changing your behavior simply because of a question in the Authenticity Test
is no more valid than claiming to be an educated person
because you knew the exam questions in advance and studied only for them.

     The 23 contrasts on page 4 might better be seen as 23 growth scales.
Thus, instead of merely giving yourself a numerical score,
you might decide to write a paragraph of self-examination
for each dimension of growth that seems meaningful to you.
Such writing might become the beginning of your Authenticity journal (p. 31).

     If you plan to take the Authenticity Test, number a large sheet of paper
in four columns as follows: 1-28, 30-46, 50-73, 80-96.  (See inside front cover.)

     If you might be tempted to distort your score one way or another,
you could decide to take the test (which appears in boxes)
before you read the text explaining each form of growth toward Authenticity.
Or if you are reading this book with someone who knows you well,
you might discuss your ratings with each other.

     When a question cannot easily be answered yes or no,
feel free to interpret and give yourself fractional points.  For instance:

16.  Did I get married (or will I have married) because it was expected?
yes—2 points                  somewhat—1 point                      no—0 points

If your marrying behavior was due mostly to social pressure,
you might give yourself 1.5 points.

     Put today's date on your score sheet and keep it in this book.
In the future you might want to re-take the test or re-read your self-examination
to see how much progress you have made toward becoming more Authentic.

     Even if the Authenticity Test is not helpful in other ways,
at least the specific questions can open possible areas for growth.
And, of course, you may add your own growth goals to the 23 explored here.

A DEFINITION OF AUTHENTIC EXISTENCE by JAMES PARK                                           7

How to cite the above page from Becoming More Authentic

    Students and scholars are invited to quote
anything from the above page. 
Here is the proper form for the footnote or other reference: 

James Park  Becoming More Authentic:
The Positive Side of Existentialism

(Minneapolis, MN:, 2007—5th edition)
p. 7

Return to the table of contents for
Becoming More Authentic: The Positive Side of Existentialism.

Created September 12, 2008

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