Saturday, October 26, 2013

Harry Potter and Myers-Briggs

Recently, there were a few suggestions on the internet about which Harry Potter characters were which of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.  Here, I will analyse three of these, plus on suggested by a friend of mine.  You will need knowledge of both the Harry Potter series and Myers-Briggs in order to understand.  I will assume such knowledge.
The difficult thing with Myers-Briggs is that the combination of the four letters can give unexpected personalities.  For example, I am INTJ.  Looking at the N/S spectrum in isolation, I am slightly more S than N.  However, when looking at the personality as a whole, I am INTJ rather than ISTJ.  This also happens with Harry Potter characters.  Therefore I shall analyse both the individual letters assigned to a character, and the overall personality description, before giving my own suggestions for personality-character matches based on individual letters and then overall personalities.

For reference, here are the descriptions of the 16 personality types.

The most popular internet suggestion, together with my comments, was as follows:

ISTJ: Snape.  Not a bad choice, but Snape fits INTJ better.  He’s not that fussed about order and organising his life.
ISFJ: Neville.  Partially correct, but I’m not convinced he’s a J.  Lupin fits this better
INFJ: Lupin.  Material possessions?  Really?  DD is far better for this one.
INTJ: Malfoy.  Snape is INTJ.  However, Malfoy is close.  I get the impression he could be one when he grows up.
ISTP: Harry.  Not really.  He doesn’t analyse lots of information, he tends to act more on impulse.  Probably an F, not a T.  Hermione is closer to this, though I don’t think she’s quite here.
ISFP: Hagrid.  I think Hagrid might be a marginal E.
INFP: Luna.  She fits pretty well here.  I.  N.  F.  P.  All seem to fit.
INTP: Hermione.  She is clearly a J and almost certainly a T.  She’s more of an ISTJ.
ESTP: Ginny.  Pretty good.  We don’t actually have loads of info on Ginny but she could  fit here.
ESFP: Twins.  Pretty good match.
ENFP: Ron.  Good again.  Twins and Ron are quite similar.  Maybe they could swap types.
ENTP: Sirius.  Yes.  Though the twins could fit here too.  Or maybe Sirius is an I?
ESTJ: McGonagall.  Possibly, but she’s not extreme enough to fit here.  Moody is the one for here.
ESFJ: Lily.  She might well fit here, but why choose her when Molly is a mor major character and definitely fits?
ENFJ: Dumbledore.  DD is an I.  End of.
ENTJ: James.  Maybe.  We don’t know that much about James, but this might be right.

The second suggestion:

ISTJ: Hermione.  Yes.
ISFJ: Cho.  Yes, but Lupin more so, and he’s a more major character so we can be more certain about him
INFJ: DD.  Yes.
INTJ: Snape.  Yes.  A good start!  But these first 4 are the easiest ones.
ISTP: Hooch.  Maybe.  She’s very minor though.  This is the hardest personality type to fit with a character.
ISFP: Harry.  Harry is actually quite hard to place.  He is FP for certain.  But he seems quite happy with conflict so I don’t think he fits here.
INFP: Luna.  Same as last time.  A good fit.
INTP: Neville.  No!  Where did this idea come from?
ESTP: Sirius.  Maybe.  He seems to fit in a few EP places.
ESFP: Ron.  Could be this, or the next one.  As could the twins.
ENFP: Tonks.  Maybe – but twins/Ron are more major and fit at least as well here.
ENTP: Twins.  I think they are Fs.  Sirius fits better here.
ESTJ: McGonagall.  As above, Moody is here.
ESFJ: Molly.  Yes.
ENFJ: Fudge.  Possibly.  He might be ENFJ gone wrong.  But I don’t think so really.
ENTJ: Lucius.  Maybe but, like James, we don’t know much about him.

The third attempt, by a friend of mine.  She left some blank if she saw no clear fit.

ISTJ: Hermione. Yes.
ISFJ: Lupin.  Yes.
INFJ: DD.  Yes.
INTJ: Snape.  Yes.
ISFP: Harry.  He seems to fit the letters, but he doesn’t fit the avoiding conflict bit in the description.
INFP: Luna.  She ends up here a lot.  She certainly fits the letters.  Idealistic?  Catalysts for implementing ideas?  I’m not sure.
ESTP: Sirius.  See comments above.
ESFP: Ron.  See above.
ENFP: Tonks.  Ditto.
ENTP: Twins.  Ditto again.
ESFJ: Molly.  Yes.
ENTJ: Ginny.  Maybe.  She’s hard to place.  Definitely E, but other than that it’s unclear.

And the fourth attempt:

ISTJ: Hermione.  Yes.
ISFJ: Hagrid.  No.  He’s not accurate or painstaking, in general.  He’s quite oblivious to others.
INFJ: DD.  Yes.
INTJ: Snape.  Yes.
ISTP: Hooch.  See above.
ISFP: Harry.  See above.
INFP:  Lupin.  He fits here to an extent, but is batter as ISFJ.
INTP:  Voldemort.  Interesting.  And also good.  Very good.
ESTP:  Malfoy.  Er, no!  Flexible and tolerant?  I think not.  And he’s an I.
ESFP:  Ron.  See above.
ENFP:  Twins.  Ditto.
ENTP:  Sirius.  Ditto, yawn.
ESTJ:  Percy.  Good.  He fits the letters.  I like him here.
ESFJ:  Molly.  Yes.
ENFJ:  Maxime.  Possibly, but she’s a minor character.  That’s not a no though.
ENTJ:  McGonagall.  Maybe.  She’s a hard one to place, seems to fit in a few slots.

Finally, here are my suggestions.  Preceded by some caveats:
1.       The four scales (I/E, N/S, T/F, J/P) are scales – not absolutes.  One can be a slight E or a massive E, for example.  But when a person is labelled with four letters, the extent of their letters is not shown.  The only way to accurately represent this would be on a 4-dimensional graph.  In short, this system is limited.
2.       I am an INTJ.  However, I am more S than N.  But overall, I am more INTJ than ISTJ.  This happens with other people as well, especially if they are only marginally on one side of the scale.  Therefore I have produced two sets of personality-character matches below.  The first is based on the four individual letters, in isolation, without regarding the personality descriptions.  The second is based purely on the descriptions, without considering the individual letters.
3.       ISTP was a really hard one to match to a character.  It’s certainly not Harry, as in one internet suggestion.  The others either left it blank or went for Hooch – but there is very little information on her.  She’s only really in one scene in the whole saga, other than refereeing quidditch matches.  In fact, it was only as a came to write what comes below, after analysing this all for several hours, that I belatedly realised who fits it.
4.       It is hard to differentiate between the twins, because they are almost always together and doing the same things.  George is obviously a little more considerate than Fred, but that’s about it.

Firstly, based on the individual letters.  Sometimes more than one character seems to fit.

ISTJ: Hermione, Draco
ISFJ: Neville, McGonagall
INFJ: Dumbledore
INTJ: Snape
ISTP: Arthur
ISFP: Lupin, Harry
INFP: Luna, Hagrid
INTP: Voldemort
ESTP: Twins
ESFP: Fudge
ENTP: Ginny, Sirius
ESTJ: Moody
ESFJ: Molly
ENFJ: Bella
ENTJ: Scrimgeour, Percy, Umbridge

And now, purely based on the descriptions.  Bold sections are phrases or words that particularly fit the suggested character.  Italics is where the match is weak.

ISTJ: Hermione.  Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.
ISFJ: Lupin.  Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.
INFJ: Dumbledore.  Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.
INTJ: Snape.  Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.
ISTP: Arthur.  Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.
ISFP: Neville.  Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.
INFP: Harry.  Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened.
INTP: Voldemort.  Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.
ESTP: Twins.  Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused on immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing.
ESFP: Ron.  Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.
ENFP: Hagrid.  Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency.
ENTP: Sirius.  Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.
ESTJ: Moody.  Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible. Take care of routine details. Have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.
ESFJ: Molly.  Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.
ENFJ: Ginny.  Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.
ENTJ: Scrimgeour.  Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.

So there you go.  Some characters fit really well, Like Snape, Hermione, Sirius, Moody and Molly.  Others are weaker, like Hagrid and Ginny.  Some people fit different types under the two systems.  But I reckon that my effort is more accurate and more conclusive than the previous four.  Which is why I bothered to post it, I suppose.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Dear lord this is better than the chart. Thank you for posting! X3

Unknown said...

First, This Awesome!
Second, Harry INFP? Does he really resemble Luna (who is a classic)? Maybe? I might be biased because am an INFP myself. Much better than intp which is what I thought. Regardless, place a same character in two different environments and you'd get quite different people.
I was particularly impressed with your analyses of Ginny, Hagrid, Ron and Arthur. Consider malfoy as entj, mcgonagal ISTJ, tonks esfp. Also, i half expected you to classify voldmort as a J, when looking at indiv.letters. Especially b4 he knew he had 'powers' :)