What Can A Personality Test Tell Us About Who We Are?


What Can A Personality Test Tell Us About Who We Are?

What Can A Personality Test Tell Us About Who We Are?

VEDANTAM: It’s one of the most famous scenes in the “Harry Potter” series. Two lines of kids, newly arrived at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, march into a vast and glorious dining hall. The air glows with light from hanging torches and graceful flying candles. The ceiling looks like the night sky full of stars.

VEDANTAM: The endless dining tables glitter with silver plates and golden goblets. Young students make their way to the front of the hall, where an old and crumpled wizard’s hat awaits them. It is the Sorting Hat.

MAGGIE SMITH: (As Professor Minerva McGonagall) Now, when I call your name, you will come forth. I shall place the Sorting Hat on your head, and you will be sorted into your houses.

VEDANTAM: After judging their personality traits and potential, it decides which house they’ll belong to during their Hogwarts education. Will it be brave Gryffindor, gentle Hufflepuff, sbitious Slytherin?

PHILLIPS: (As Sorting Hat) Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? You could be great, you know. It’s all here in your head. And Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness. There’s no doubt about that. No.

VEDANTAM: There is something deeply appealing BГЎltico mujeres saliendo about the Sorting Hat. It’s wise. It knows people better than they know themselves. It tells them who they are and to which tribe they belong. Are they courageous, loyal, curious or cunning? All humans, old and young, love this kind of insight.

VEDANTAM: I ran into a 10-year-old Michaela and a group of her friends at PotterVerse, a “Harry Potter” convention in Baltimore.

What Can A Personality Test Tell Us About Who We Are?

VEDANTAM: I’d come to the conference to learn more about the Hogwarts houses and the appeal of the Sorting Hat. Michaela and her friends are huge “Harry Potter” fans.

VEDANTAM: All right, so here’s a little test that I want to do, OK? We’re going to pick Michaela. And you’re not going to say it, but the rest of your friends on the count of three are going to call out and say what house you think she should be in, not what she says she’s in or what she wants to be in, but based on what you know of her, what house you think she should be in, all right? So on the count of three – ready? One, two, three.

MICHAELA: Well, we went to this camp, and it sorted me into Slytherin, but I am sort of cunning. So yeah, they’re right. And she’s right as well because I am sort of nice.

HAILEY: Because me and her went to a camp and we – a “Harry Potter” camp called Hogwoods (ph), and we got sorted into Slytherin. And I got Ravenclaw.

VEDANTAM: Even among these young girls, it’s easy to see how the question – what house are you in? – flows into a larger question – what kind of person are you? Your Hogwarts house is a window into your identity. Walking around the convention, I met Brittany Overman (ph) and Devon Valverde (ph).

VEDANTAM: Brittany spotted a line on Devon’s profile that she liked. It said, talk “Harry Potter” to me. She responded with the inevitable question.

OVERMAN: Oh, my God, but it was like the best thing ever because, obviously, people on Tinder don’t look for people to talk about “Harry Potter.” And I was, like, really worried because I initially did not want to join the app at all just because I was like, I know what people look for on there. And I was like, that’s not what I’m looking for. But I know that there’s a lot of people on there. So I was like, chances are, I might find somebody who doesn’t want what’s usually asked for on Tinder. So, like, I saw the “Harry Potter” thing. I was like, OK, I got try to talk to him. Hopefully he talks back to me. And it worked out pretty well.


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