I ran into a thread on an internet board I frequent that replicated a "test" that is circulating now. It starts off this way: "At the end of this post, you will be asked a question. Answer it immediately. Don't stop and think about it. Just say the first thing that pops into your mind This is a fun "test"... AND kind of spooky at the same time! Give it a try."
Following this is a series of ten or so addition problems that are placed apart from each other by a gob of carriage returns to slow the reader down. Then comes the "question": "QUICK! THINK ABOUT A COLOR AND A TOOL!" We are then told
"You just thought about a red hammer, didn't you? If this is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different kind of mind."
On my board a number of participants including me reported that they got "red" and "hammer." Blue came up with some and a few other tools came up.
Does this "test" separate out two different types of minds? The answer is, "No." I have given this sort of "test" (without including addition problems) a number of times in classes I have taught to illustrate the Prototype Theory of word meaning (or of concept formation).
The philosopher Ludwig Witgenstein argued in his "Philosophical Investigations" that the sorts of things that a word refers to cannot be characterized by a set of properties shared by all of the things it refers to. He noted that any such set of properties for the word "game" would inevitably include some things that aren't games and exclude some things that are. Not infrequently on sports talk shows, for instance, the question whether or not this or that activity (say, ice skating) is a sport comes up. Never can the hosts come up with an answer that pleases everyone. Wittgensten argued instead that the things that the word "game" refers to enjoy a set of family resemblances to each other based on the properties that they share.
Prototype Theory takes the position that in learning a word, we are taught (or discover for ourselves) a single or sometimes a couple of primary exemplars of the set of things the word refers to. When we learn the word "bird" we pick out robins, for instance, as exemplars of the set of birds with other birds deviating from it to varying degrees and in varying ways. Close to it would be cardinals and sparrows. Further away would be seagulls. At the remotest end would be penguins, perhaps. In my classes, when I would give the "red hammer" test, I might ask some students to name a type of bird and others to draw a bird. The word "robin" came up most frequently and drawings of a bird almost invariably showed a robin-like bird standing, rather than flying.
What the "red hammer" test proves is that "red" is the paradigmatic color for people (and not just for English speaking people) and "hammer" is the paradigmatic kind of tool. So, those who see the "red hammer" test as separating out two types of “minds” are being conned.