After initial research, I came across this article about Harry Potter and personality. It looks at the conformity of fandom like Harry Potter and the social impact that it has in people’s lives, and examines the personality of the Hogwarts houses looking at the JK Rowling’s Pottermore Sorting Hat quiz from a psychological perspective.
The power of fandom and pop culture is a huge in our generation. For instance, my sister who you see above is huge Harry Potter fan as you can see. where she spent a large amount of money to see her favorite characters multiple times for only a few minutes each time, this is the power of fandom.
The featured article “Harry Potter and the measures of personality: Extraverted Gryffindors, agreeable Hufflepuffs, clever Ravenclaws, and manipulative Slytherins” applies actual personality characteristics to the Hogwarts houses which stems from the official JK Rowling Pottermore quiz where based on your personality and condemns you to an archetype, where you are sorted into one of the four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.
The data where they use the big five: conscientiousness, agreeableness, narcissism, extraversion and openness. The results of their study are:
If you are sorted into Gryffindor you are high in extraversion, slightly higher in openness. With Hufflepuff you are higher in agreeableness, a higher need to belong, slightly higher in openness and low in Conscientiousness. In Ravenclaw you have a higher need for cognition or knowledge, are slightly more open to new experiences. Finally with Slytherin you are higher in the Dark Traid which is psychopathy, narcissism, and machiavellianism, but especially high in narcissism. Based all the results, they all correlated positively to JK Rowling’s description of each house with the exception of Gryffindor showing now results for bravery.
But this article lets to bigger issues which is the main focus of this blog post. in the beginning of the article, the author describes the “Collective-Assimilation Hypothesis”. This hypothesis is described as “experiencing a narrative leads one to psychologically become a part of the collective described within the narrative” which I believe correlated to social imitation and conformity.
If you look at the left photo of my sister, she is wearing a blue belt which is a tie from her Hogwarts house of Ravenclaw. This is a prime example of the power of social imitation and fandom. where people take a piece of fan fiction like someone Hogwarts house that has been assigned an identity like a colour and symbol, to which people conform their ideas and preferences to fit that label, which soon becomes part of their identity, this is conformity. One reason for why I believe that is occurs is a need for a connection where it is based on an emotional, mental, physical or fictional connection.
By having images, symbols, and characters that create its own identity, it is easier to conform and become affiliated to a fictional world with wands, dragons, and spells, than with the real world of work, stress, and life, because the fictional identity is more fulfilling. could this conformity be a relation to the Harlow experiments with the monkeys where we are more drawn to comforting things like that make us feel good like cloth mothers, group inclusion and wands and wizards?
This post is just an introduction to a bigger topic that I plan on delving into more as the semester progresses. Where I look further into why we conform to and socially imitate pop culture like Harry Potter.
I have also posted the link to Pottermore where you can sort yourself into one of the Hogwarts houses: https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-sorting-hat