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Of the Old Tales: Inclination Towards Myth and Legend by Personality Type

3 years ago 1 comment

Long ago, there lived 16 personality types. All these personalities were very different, all extraordinarily unique in their own way, but despite their many differences, they had several commonalities. One of these things was that they enjoyed myths and legends. Tales of grand heroes, of demigods, of the fantastic and mystical...

Let’s come back to reality.

The seeds of myth and legend run deep for people. It’s part of our cultural fabric, whether it be in the form of ancient mythology or urban legends – though the reasons we may appreciate it differ. That’s why we went to the community and asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “You are fascinated by myths and legends” to learn more. Here are the results:

Agreement with “You are fascinated by myths and legends.”

Not a single personality type disagreed with the statement, with over 50% of all types agreeing, but there were clearly some differences in opinion. Let’s dig in and investigate why some are more inclined than others to be fascinated by myths and legends.

Roles

Agreement with “You are fascinated by myths and legends.”

Sentinels (56% agreeing)

Sentinel personality types were the least likely to be fascinated by myths and legends. That’s not to say that they don’t like these types of stories, but rather that they enjoy them for what they believe them to be: stories mainly for entertainment value. Sentinels share the Observant and Judging traits. This combination makes for very down-to-earth people who value clarity and pragmatism, and they are less likely to have a fascination with myths and legends, which deal mostly in the mystic and the unknown.

Among the least likely to become absorbed in myths and legends were the Consuls (ESFJ) and the Executives (ESTJ) (both 55%). Their Extraversion may contribute to the lack of interest from these two personality types, as they are more interested in real, live people than stories.

Explorers (63%)

Explorer personalities share the Sentinels’ Observant trait, which means they tend to focus on what is or has been happening rather than what could happen (so reading mythology is not necessarily high on their lists). That said, their Prospecting trait has Explorers on the lookout for a good story, even if it’s unrealistic or from the distant past.

Analysts and Diplomats (82% and 85%)

Analysts and Diplomats are almost equally fascinated with myths and legends. This is easy to understand with Diplomats; they love dealing with the possibilities, and are always looking for a greater meaning – it makes perfect sense that they would turn to myths and legends to deepen their connection to the mystical unknown. Analyst personality types, on the other hand, deal with rationality and are often guided by science and logic – which, more often than not, doesn’t leave any room for old, unrealistic tales. So how did these two types wind up with nearly equal agreement?

It’s their shared Intuitive trait. This trait allows both Diplomats and Analysts to imagine many different possibilities and realities, and makes for people who are very imaginative if not particularly realistic at times. Considering this, it’s easy to understand why they’re both so interested in myths and legends. Their motivations may be slightly different, though. Analyst personalities may be interested in examining myths and legends in order to find rational explanations for them – Sleeping Beauty is a narcoleptic, the Book of Genesis coincides with the Big Bang, and so on. Analysts also tend to enjoy finding patterns and event cascades, which myths and legends have in spades.

Diplomat personality types are slightly different in that they are looking for an underlying factor that exposes the inner workings of humanity, and what connects and drives us all. Among the most likely to agree with the statement were the Mediators (INFP), with 87% agreeing. They easily see the meaning in metaphors and parables, and they find mystic beauty in everything. Myths and legends serve as just another vehicle for Mediators’ endless pursuit of art and understanding.

Strategies

Agreement with “You are fascinated by myths and legends.”

There isn’t much variance to be found among the Strategies, though there are some slight differences that are interesting. Let’s investigate.

People Mastery and Confident Individualism (67% and 70% agreeing)

People are often interested in myths and legends, as they often contain universal (or near-universal) truths. It’s exactly for this reason that these Assertive personality types are less inclined to be fascinated by myths and legends, as they are more assured of what truth is. That said, a healthy majority of People Masters and Confident Individualists still enjoy myths and legends, just not to the same degree that their Turbulent cousins do.

Social Engagement and Constant Improvement (74% and 78%)

For the exact reason that Assertive types are less inclined to be fascinated by myths and legends, Turbulent types are more likely to be interested in them. It could be that they’re unsure of themselves and are looking for a concrete truth. Or it could simply be that Social Engagers and Constant Improvers enjoy a good story – one where the hero overcomes insurmountable odds and boldly takes action – because such stories serve as encouragement and inspiration for these often shaky personality types.

Conclusions

Personality type is certainly a component of whether or not someone is fascinated by myths and legends. Even though we all enjoy these stories to some degree, there are some who take them as gospel, while others take them with a grain of salt.

Those types who are likely to become highly involved in myths and legends believe that there are deep truths to be found in these old tales. The personalities least likely to agree that they are fascinated by myths and legends find entertainment value in them, but little more than that.

What about you? Do you devour tales of the old and the ancient? Or do you look at them, smile, and continue with your day? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

You can see the full set of data, including correlation coefficients, in the Academy. If you have a minute to help us with our research, check out our Member Surveys.

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