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Here's why you love identifying yourself with fictional figures

Sep. 18, 2017
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I can’t remember the last time I scrolled past an online quiz without taking it. Whatever the subject, I want to know the answer: What kind of houseplant am I? What percent grandma am I? What Hogwarts house is my dog in? Everyone from the girl you babysit to your grandma loves to share their results on Facebook. So what’s the big deal? Why do we need to take these online quizzes to determine who we are in these fictional universes? 

Well, there are a few reasons. 

It makes us feel special

Identifying ourselves with famous, heroic, or fictional figures makes us feel like we’re in an exclusive club. We grow up watching characters from stories like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games achieve extraordinary things, so identifying with people from their worlds makes us feel like we could be extraordinary too. 

It makes us feel included

I get way too excited for a grown 26-year-old every time I meet someone else who has been sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore. Really, though, I’m just excited at the prospect of knowing I am not alone: there are other people like me who value the same things I do and probably like a lot of the same things as me. And whenever I get the same results as people I’m already close to, it strengthens those relationships even more. 

It helps us get a grip on who we are 

While at the core these are simply silly quizzes, they can help us realize who we are and what we want. Did you get Rapunzel as your result for “Which princess quiz are you?”—only to be disappointed to learn that you’re not Tiana? There’s something to be said about that. What kinds of qualities do you share with your ideal result? Maybe, like Tiana, you’re proud of your hardworking nature—and your quiz results could mean your Rapunzel-esque daydreaming tendencies are interfering with your goals. Realizing your strengths (and weaknesses) can help you find yourself as a human being.

So keep taking those quizzes, guilt-free! They are fun, easy ways to boost your mood and connect with others, and they can help you figure yourself out a little better. Just remember—don’t take them too seriously.