Culture

'Which Character' personality test: what to know about the viral quiz

The quiz comes courtesy of the Open-Source Psychometrics Project, and it's already causing drama.

A new personality quiz is taking the internet by storm. The Open-Source Psychometrics Project is promising to compare personality traits with a variety of fictional characters, and the results are hilarious.

The quiz, available here, asks users about traits based on a sliding scale. Are you more frugal, or lavish? Users move the slider between the two on a scale of 100 to arrive at complementary percentages for the two values. The recommended version of the quiz asks 28 questions, but this can be scaled back to 14 in "random" mode or increased to 121 in "complete" mode. At the end, the quiz will produce your closest character matches based on a series of fictional universes, including Lord of the Rings, The Big Bang Theory, and Gray's Anatomy.

As the creator claims, the quiz is aimed at offering a "slightly more scientific" approach versus quizzes produced by other websites. Rather than a quiz creator telling the user which traits they have, the site crowdsources the answers from volunteers.

The results have been causing a storm on social media, perhaps spurred by people staying indoors during the global coronavirus pandemic. Users on Twitter have been sharing the results with their followers:

Sometimes the results can be a bit mixed:

It can make you reassess your situation:

Even J.K. Rowling has been trying out her luck:

The site has seen a rise in popularity over the past six months, SimilarWeb shows the site reached a peak of 720,000 visitors for the month of January.

How does the 'which character' quiz work?

The quiz asks volunteers to rank characters on a sliding scale, similar to the one used for participants in the quiz itself. Participants are asked at the end of the quiz if they wish to take part in the process, which is expected to take three to five minutes. Each volunteer is asked to rank 30 characters based on one set of sliding scales for each character.

As per the project description, the creators acknowledge that fictional characters don't have real-world personalities, but people that read the fictional works may come to a conclusion about their personality through the work. The project states that it is "unknown if this perception of personality actually has the same structure as human individual differences."

The system produces a match score by looking at the average submitted scores for each character's personality traits, then comparing with the self-rating by the user. A correlation between one and minus one is produced, which is multiplied by 50 to create a percentage.

There are 400 characters in the database, shared over the following fictional universes:

Friends, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Office, The West Wing, Pride & Prejudice, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Lost, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Simpsons, Star Wars, That 70's Show, Grey's Anatomy, Breaking Bad, Lord of the Rings, Downton Abbey, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, Firefly + Serenity, True Detective, Community, Walking Dead, Hunger Games, Fight Club, Sex and the City, Dexter, The Wire, Westworld, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, Casablanca, Battlestar Galactica, Mad Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crazy Rich Asians, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock, SIlicon Valley, Law & Order: SVU, Twin Peaks, Cowboy Bebop, The Matrix, Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby, The X-Files.

Who made the 'which character' quiz?

The creator of the website is anonymous, but their site hosts a number of psychology-focused quizzes like Jungian personality types and Raymond Cattell personality factors. The creator did not respond to Inverse's request for comment, but the website appears to be actively updated. The character personality test was updated in January 2020.

As the creator writes in the personality quiz introduction, these sort of "which character" quizzes aren't really the focus of the site:

When the creator of this website would tell people that he published personality tests on the internet, people would usually ask him if he meant that he worked at BuzzFeed on their "Which character are you?" personality quizzes. And he would have to explain that he did not and had never been very interested in that style of test.

The quiz produced for the site is aimed at offering a better version of those quizzes with a "slightly more scientific" approach.

The privacy policy notes a number of measures used to protect users. The site notes that social media comments from providers like Facebook and Disqus aren't loaded until the user presses an extra button. The site also shows privacy policies from Survata and Google AdSense.

What happens if you press "next" every time without moving the slider?

It seems to change each time, but in Inverse's test, it claimed to have found an infinite match with Hagrid from Harry Potter.

The end result.Open Psychometrics

Hagrid: the most agreeable character? Science seems to think so.

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