Where science meets 'Harry Potter's magical Sorting Hat | EW.com

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Where science meets Harry Potter's magical Sorting Hat

How do the magical powers of Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat match up with science? Several researchers set out to find an answer with their new study, “Harry Potter and the measures of personality: Extraverted Gryffindors, agreeable Hufflepuffs, clever Ravenclaws, and manipulative Slytherins.”

The recent study, first uncovered by The Atlantic, was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. Officially out this fall, it found that the house you’re sorted into might actually say something about you.

Upon arriving to the fictional Hogwarts School, each first year student is put into one of the four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. So, when author J.K. Rowling established Pottermore, she created a personality test for wannabe witches and wizards so they could be sorted into one of the four houses as well.

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The researchers of the study took fans that had already taken the Pottermore quiz, and put their results up against additional personality indicators including the Big Five traits, need to belong, need for cognition and the Dark Triad.

The results “suggest that fiction can reflect real underlying personality dimensions,” according to the author, as they tended to reflect traits or labels that each house represented. Ravenclaws had a need for cognition while Slytherins demonstrated the highest score with the Dark Triad attributes of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. But there was no correlation between Gryffindors and extraversion and openness, nor between Hufflepuffs and the need to belong, as the researchers initially expected. 

Head over to The Atlantic for more on the study.