Elizabeth De Leon
Final Proposal Project:
Research on Personality Measurements of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
We as beings tend to use fiction and storytelling to learn about ourselves and understandings of where we place ourselves in the social world. Growing up, there has been multiple personality tests including horoscopes that allows us to better test the understandings of the “self.” I see that in the Wizarding World, being a fictional world, make an understanding of the self in belonging at Hogwarts. Hogwarts is separated into four kinds of houses in which represent qualities that students have and strongly implify. Readers/Potter fans have sorted themselves into a website that J.K Rowling created: “Pottermore” and it allows us as fans/readers to feel more connected and find a sense of belonging and apply it to the muggle/real world. Social Psychology plays well in Rowling’s series. The finding of the self and how the main character Harry connects with the readers well. Rowling uses Self-Concept, Social Comparison Theory (Upward and Downward), Self Expansion Theory and Self Discrepancy Theory in which we try to juggle three (Actual, Ideal and Ought) selves and we can see that throughout our Heroes venture. I will touch on the Psychological terms and how Social Psychology of the Self fits with J.K Rowling’s series.
As mentioned before people use fiction and storytelling to learn about the self and their definitions to fit in the social world. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s have and use her books to identify with one of the four Hogwarts school districts or as known as “houses.” The Four Hogwarts houses consist of: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has very distinctive characteristic traits. For instance, Gryffindor who are known to be the bravest and reckless out of the Houses. Ravenclaw who are known for their urge on knowledge and creativity. Hufflepuff for being the most loyal and patient out of the houses. And then comes Slytherin, they are known for being cunning. J.K Rowling divided the castle well with four different types of personality traits to in which are distinctive yet strong personality traits that many would take pride to have. Rowling also created founders for the houses that took pride and compromisation to fit together and combine these houses into one institution. The Founders: Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin. These founders according to Rowling’s series, are known for being the most brilliant witches and wizards of their time.
The website “Pottermore” describes the founding of the self-concept, in a summary of who we believe we are, including our assessment of our positive and negative qualities of our relationships towards others. We can clearly see that throughout J.K Rowling’s book series especially with Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione. A great example of that was in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” where Harry first took steps into Hogwarts and bumped into Draco Malfoy. Malfoy acted as his cunning self and bullied Nevielle and asked Harry to be his friend because he knew that Harry would fit great in his crew, but Harry saw the negative self -concept of Draco and Harry in which he had built an experience for people such as Draco he knew that he had a choice to get away from that cycle of selfish people like Draco. Harry also has a strong sense of self-concept and his experience made him built an opinion towards the negative and positive qualities that he will allow to build in a social relationship.
Social Identity Theory is shown when taking the “pottermore” quiz. It’s a theory that identifies our self-concept is composed of two parts based on personal characteristics and social identity on social roles. Many people use fiction to learn about the self and where they fit in society. Millions of people use Rowling’s personality sorting quiz for those purposes exactly. You would see an individual who wears the accessories or the colors that represent each house for self identification that they fit those qualities of that fictional world.
An article by Laura C Crysel, “Harry Potter and the measures of personality: Extraverted Gryffindors, agreeable Hufflepuffs, clever Ravenclaws, and Manipulative Slytherins” shows the use of Psychology when it comes to finding the self through the Social Identity Theory and I see that a lot in J.K Rowling’s work in Harry Potter, especially dividing the self in four different parts. Laura C Crysel made an excellent observation on measuring the cognition of fans who test themselves using the “pottermore.”
The participants of the research provided them their pottermore quiz results (outcome) and also reported their satisfaction (ranks 1 = strongly dissatisfied to 9 = strongly satisfied). In order to define the measurements from the participants results of the pottermore quiz and the measurements of their satisfaction toward the quiz/results, was measured by the Big-Five-based Ten-Item Personality Inventory by Gosling, Rwntfrow and Swann, 2003, this is an importanassessing personality trait in studies that prompt and scale the measurements of personality. The Dark triad Dirty Dozen, Jonason and Webster, 2010, this assess the three social maladaptive traits. The Short-Form Need for Cognition Scale, Cacioppo, Petty & Kao, 1984, this measures the gender neutral in personality traits. Lastly, the Need to Belong Scale by Leary, Kelly, Cottrell, and Schreindorfer, 2013, this measures the desire to form and maintain and attachment to society/world. All the measures throughout the process were measured in (1 = strongly dissatisfied to 9 = strongly satisfied).
In Laura C Crysel article, their outcome of their research on measuring the participants results. Claimed that enough participants reported being sorted into each house successfully into the houses they connected with. The participants were satisfied with their results and taking the “pottermore” quiz. The results of Gryffindors were higher versus the rest of the houses and Hufflepuffs were expected to scale high on it’s agreeable trait versus the other houses, but Hufflepuffs were not any different in the conscientiousness outcome from the rest of the houses. Ravenclaws results were also as expected to rank high on levels of Need of Cognition. Lastly, Slytherins, they measured high on Dark Triad composite scale. In conclusion, the “Pottermore” quiz tends to sort readers/fans into houses with characteristics that are shown throughout J.K Rowling’s wizarding world, how it connects to us in the Muggle world.
Crysel, Laura C ; Cook, Corey L ; Schember, Tatiana Orozco ; Webster, Gregory D Personality and Individual Differences, September 2015, Vol.83, pp.174-179 https://www-sciencedirect-com.libproxy.csudh.edu/science/article/pii/S0191886915002615
Rowling, J. K., & OverDrive Inc. (2012). Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. London: Pottermore. https://www.wizardingworld.com/news/a-new-wizarding-world-website