While Harry Potter only needed to put a dusty talking hat on to figure out his Hogwarts house and personality, a study shows who we want to be may be more accurate than the Sorting Hat.
A new study suggests that what Hogwarts house — Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin — you would like to be part of can give insight into your personality.
The study selected 132 people who had already been sorted into houses on Pottermore, a fan site that lets readers enter the magical world, and measured their personalities based on the Big 5 personality traits, Lindsay Holmes reported for The Huffington Post. These include need for cognition, need to belong and the Dark Triad, which are narcissism, machiavellianism and psychopathy.
The results showed that as expected Hufflepuffs were agreeable, Ravenclaws wanted to learn things and Slytherins tested high in the Dark Triad, Holmes wrote.
The only flaw in the sorting hat came from the pesky Gryffindors. While those doing the study expected they would be highly extroverted, they really weren’t, Tom McKay reported for Mic.
This could possibly be attributed to a little arguing with the sorting hat, just like Harry, because of the admirable traits of Gryffindors and their prevalence in the series.
The Pottermore sorting test asks questions about personality (like “Would you rather be envied, feared, liked, praised, trusted or imitated) and seemingly random questions (“What mythical creature do you want to study?” and “Left or right?”). For non-Pottermore users, this Buzzfeed quiz might be a semi-accurate replacement.
These tests work as a basic personality test, which is supposed to decide if you are a nice Hufflepuff, brave Gryffindor, knowledge-loving Ravenclaw or manipulative Slytherin.
Yet, sometimes who we are isn’t who we want to be.
The study showed that who readers identified with and wanted to be like affected the outcomes of their test and changed their personality, Carri Rom reported for The Atlantic.
The power of reading has been shown before, too. A 2011 study from SUNY-Buffalo showed that simply reading about a group was enough to help you identify with it.
This trend, which is called "narrative collection-assimilation hypothesis," was once again affirmed when children who had only read Harry Potter excerpts about mistreated groups in the wizarding world were more likely to reach out to real groups that were treated poorly, Romm explained
“Our findings suggest that fiction can reflect real underlying personality dimensions,” the authors of the study wrote. “Clearly, what we read can influence how we see ourselves.”