July 1, 2015 by Martha’s Dad
The House a student at Hogwarts belongs to is crucial. Once the magical Sorting Hat has been used to allocate a student to a House, it seems the personality of that House rubs off and behaviour begins to conform to expectations. Those joining Slytherin become venomous cheats, for instance, while Ravenclaws become excited more by intellectual challenge.
In a fascinating new paper from Lisa Crysel and her colleagues, the question of House affiliation and behaviour is extended into the real world in a very novel way. The researchers identified hardcore Potter fans, asked them to name their favourite Houses (apparently all true aficionados have one!) and submitted them to a range of psychometric tests. The results are quite revealing. It seems that the fictional characteristics of students in a House match the actual personality traits of the fans who admire them. Slytherin fans score high on dark trains such as psychopathy and narcissism, Ravenclaws display strong need-for-cognition, Griffendors conform to a whole host of traits from the extraversion dimension of personality, and so on. So, we seem to feel an affinity to even a fictional House where its students conform to our own personalities – in other words, Potter fans display a strong attraction to the House they would most like to belong to.
Personally, I’d like to be a Hufflepuff; hard-working, loyal, modest… Well, I did say I’d like to be that type of person, didn’t say I was!