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What Does Your Hogwarts House Actually Say About You?

According to an actual scientific paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Posted on June 18, 2015, at 5:50 a.m. ET

First things first: Choose your house.

thefourhousesofhogwarts.tumblr.com

If you've been sorted on Pottermore tell us that one, otherwise just ~go with what your heart tells you~. We'll tell you what the paper has to say about your personality. Stick around after you have your result to find out more about the researchers' findings.

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Dr Laura Crysel and colleagues recruited 132 Harry Potter fans and Pottermore users through Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook for the study.

Warner Bros

Participants told the scientists which house Pottermore had sorted them into before answering a series of personality questions. The questions addressed what psychologists call the "Big Five" personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) as well as the "Dark Triad" traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) and "need for cognition".

Crysel and her colleagues made predictions about which personality traits each house would exhibit based on the books.

Warner Bros

They thought Gryffindors' bravery and daring would make them score high on extraversion and openness to experience; Hufflepuffs' justness, hard work and loyalty would make them score high on agreeability and conscientiousness and the need to belong; Ravenclaws' wit and learning would make them score high on need for cognition; and Slytherins', who will use "any means to achieve their ends", would score high on Machiavellianism thanks to their scheming.

As the quiz shows above, not all of these things turned out to be true.

Warner Bros

It turned out that Gryffindors were no more open to experience than the other houses, though they were ever-so-slightly more extraverted. Hufflepuffs did not score more highly on the need to belong than the other houses, but they were the most agreeable of the four. But Ravenclaws' need for cognition and Slytherins' tendency towards the Dark Triad traits did play out in the data.

"We found less conclusive information for Gryffindors, probably because a 'bravery trait measure' was not available, and we had to use things that seem to relate to bravery instead," Dr Laura Crysel, lead author of the paper, told BuzzFeed Science over email. "I am a Gryffindor, so I wish I had more to say about Harry’s house; however, the data we have cannot speak to it."

Only about half of the people in the study were sorted into the house they wanted by Pottermore. This is greater than chance, says Crysel, but "it also says to me that people weren't able to cheat the quiz across the board, and that it may be saying something about how people really are."

Belonging to a fictional group could even change how you see yourself.

Warner Bros / Via thefangirlinitiative.com

Once you're sorted into Gryffindor, for example, you might start feeling and acting like you would if you joined a new school club, at least to a point, says Crysel.

"One weakness of our research is that we used Harry Potter fans – to some extent, people may be reporting the traits they think they are supposed to report," says Crysel. "This would, at least, support the idea that they are changing how they see themselves because of this feedback from the quiz."

H/T: BPS Research Digest

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