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The Cube Test - Engaging and Exploring the Subconscious Mind

By Edited Jul 30, 2015 0 1
The cube test
Credit: reddit.com

What if you had the power to take a journey around someone’s subconscious mind and explore their true personalities?

Imagine the power of being about to:

  • Discover their deepest desires
  • Reveal their darkest secrets
  • See how they see the world

In addition to being able to delve deep into a person's psyche it is a great way to break the ice with new people, disarm people's apprehension, help people understand themselves, make people love you, and last but not least have lots of fun.

This is the amazing power of the cube test.

The Perfect Icebreaker

The Cube test is one of my best icebreakers when making new friends or trying to understand others. As I tend to meet new people quite often there is usually a level of natural discomfort that exists when you first meet someone new. Whether we are aware of it or not, as human beings we are constantly evaluating whether others are friend or foe. For this reason the cube test is great for disarming people’s natural defenses and putting everyone in ‘friendship’ mode irrespective of your differences.

Why is it so Powerful?

What do your best friend and a stranger have in common? Probably nothing until you both take the time to get to know each other and reach a deeper level of understanding  and rapport with one another. This is exactly what the cube test tends to do, when you have fun with someone and display a thorough understanding of the other person then it becomes as if you’ve known them for years (provided you play the game right). This is the single most powerful reason why this game is so powerful in engaging with people.

After playing this game with many people I can say that about 80% of them want to keep in touch afterwards, which is a great conversion rate when I’m not really trying to make friends but instead trying to entertain people.

The Cube Test's Robustness

The cube test is not fool proof though. I have dedicated years to understanding the psychology of humans so have reached a high level of refinement when I play this game. Nevertheless, everyone’s interpretation will be slightly different it’s just a matter of honing your skills in.

I tend to get around 80-90% accuracy in general with a complete stranger, however to people I’ve taught this game to they can get about 60-70% accuracy on their first attempt.

The reason being is that ‘meaning’ is tends to be universal rather than arbitrary. For instance, if I asked someone to imagine a ‘shark’ about 99% of the people in this world will associate a negative or frightening emotion to it, while 1% might actually love sharks (sharkaphiles).

This is essentially how the game works at its most fundamental level. 

How to do the Cube Test

Firstly, the only thing you really need is a willing person. I will run it through once with you as if I am actually playing it with you then I will break it down and explain to you how to make your interpretations. These interpretations is where the magic happens.

Note: This is the most basic instructions to play the game otherwise this article will be too verbose with all the added descriptions and adornments added to entertain

Basic Script

Okay, I want you to paint an image in your mind – keep your mind focused on this one image but keep adding to it and make sure to have this image as clear and descriptive as possible. Okay great.

I want you to imagine you’re at a beach. Got that image in your mind? O.k good.

Now I want you to imagine a cube appears in your image. Note where it is, what it is made of, the color, the size etc. Got that? Great.

Now I want you to imagine flowers in your image. Note where they are, how many flowers, what type, the size of these flowers, the colors etc.

Now I want you to imagine a ladder in your image. Note where is it, what is it made of, how long it is, what type of ladder etc.

Now I want you to imagine storm clouds in your image. Note where they are, the size, color etc.

Lastly, I want you to imagine a horse in your image. Note what type of horse is it, the color, the size, what is it doing, where is it etc.

Now describe to me the image in your mind being as detailed as possible.


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cube at beach
Credit: flickr.com

Interpreting the Image in Their Mind

Now this is where it gets interesting, where you get a glimpse into the person’s subconscious mind – their inner world, their reality.

As an example, they might describe their cube as a large multicolored cube in the middle of the beach, their flowers scattered everywhere, ladder on lying on the beach, no storm clouds and a large brown horse walking towards them.

Based on their answers you will give them an amazing description of their personality just through these 5 elements (cube, flowers, ladder, storm clouds and horse). Let’s look at what each one represents and some simple variations of interpretations.

As with all interpretations they require some good understanding of meaning since meaning varies with each individual person. Keep in mind there is no real definitive interpretation to each aspect and it is always better to interpret their image with lighter shades to keep things positive rather than negative.

The Cube:

The obvious meaning of the cube is that the cube represents the person you’re asking. More specifically, it is the manifestation of the person’s ego – how they perceive themselves.

  • Size: The size of the cube represents the size of the person’s ego, i.e. big cube could mean big ego or a confident out-there person.
  • Color: Reflects the person’s ‘energy’, ‘feel’ or ‘mood’,  i.e. a blue cube could mean a relaxed person, a yellow one could mean a vibrant energetic person etc.
  • Material: Represents the ‘quality’, ‘substance’ or ‘appearance’ of the person, i.e. a person who has a glass cube could mean they are honest (transparent) yet fragile, or a plastic one could mean superficial or malleable – however I would steer away from using negative descriptions and put a positive spin on it – unless they aren’t afraid of getting their feelings hurt.

The Flowers

Flowers represent social circles, friendships, relationships etc. In general it symbolizes the people they surround themselves with.

  • Type: Represents the nature of the relationship  i.e. roses are loving friendships or relationships, whereas lilies represent pure, long lasting friendships.
  • Size: The larger the flower the stronger the connection/bond they have with that respective friend.
  • Number of flowers: The more flowers the more people they are surrounded with – a million flowers could mean a very extroverted outgoing person with friends everywhere
  • Color: The color of the flower describes the inherent quality of the people they surround themselves with, i.e. if the flowers are all red then it could mean that they surround themselves with fiery, passionate people.
  • Arrangement: Where the flowers are or how they are arranged can tell you a lot about the person’s social circle. A small bunch of flowers could mean a close-knit group whereas scattered flowers could mean friends from all over.

The Ladder:

A ladder is the metaphorical representation of someone’s career.

  • Size and length: The larger and longer the ladder the more ambitious this person is, similarly if the ladder is short and with only a few steps then the person would probably have a career with limited progression.
  • Type of ladder: Represents the type of quality and type of the person’s career, i.e. a wooden ‘A ladder’ could mean that the person has a traditional and stable job, whereas a long straight metal ladder that’s slanted could mean the person has a modern risky (due to the slant) job.
  • Location of the ladder: Represents the direction of the person’s career, i.e. a ladder that is pointing the sky is a person without limits, similarly, a ladder that is lying on the ground may mean the person has no ambition.

The Clouds (Storm):

I like to say clouds rather than storm clouds in general since storm clouds paint a gloomier image. Clouds in general represent a person’s challenges and insecurities.

  • Type of cloud: The type of cloud reflects on how they perceive their challenges in life. If it is dark and stormy then this person might be a pessimist that’s clouded with insecurities
  • The size: This is simply a multiplier of the previous trait. The larger the clouds the stronger the effect is, i.e. a tiny cloud over the cube could mean this person has minimal insecurities that affects their life.

The Horse:

The final element of the mental image is the horse. The horse represents one significant aspect. the person’s ideal partner in life.

  • Color: In general there are 3 colors, black represents sophistication/stylishness, brown represent stability and white represents purity
  • Size: The strength of the ideal partner’s will
  • Activity: What is the horse doing? If it is waiting to the right of the image then it could mean that the person’s ideal lover is waiting for them in the future – in other words they still haven’t met them yet. If the horse is galloping everywhere then it could mean the ideal partner is adventurous and travels a lot.

Things to Keep in Mind

These are the 5 basic elements you should cover when doing the cube test. Each and every description the person gives you can provide incredible detail and insight into their world so your job is to be able to probe and interpret appropriately.

From time to time, you will get really random or quirky answers, i.e. a Rubik’s for a cube, a unicorn for a horse, a bean stalk for a ladder, an absence of storm clouds, or bushes for flowers etc. the best thing to do is to have some fun with it and go with your gut instinct regarding the meaning . So for a dice as their cube could mean that the person likes to take chances, use common sense - it doesn't have to be 100% accurate.

You need a lot of tact when performing the cube test as you might come across sensitive issues. The best mindset to approach this game is like any other game, just have fun. Keep it lighthearted and positive will guarantee you meet the objective of having fun and lowering people’s defenses down. In the end, if you do it right, you’ve created a strong bond with the other person and potentially earned yourself a friend for life.



Nov 14, 2014 9:42pm
All right, Neil Strauss
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