iNtuitives and Sensors: Dragon vs Pegasus


July 11, 2014 by philipbullitthughes

Today I’d like to tackle that age old question that so often plagues the Myers Briggs community: the difference between iNtuitive and Sensing. But I’m not going to explain it so much as show a fun way to identify the difference.

Now, most of you may already know intellectually what the differences may be. Ns are abstract in their thinking, enjoying topics that can only be imagined, while Ss tend to enjoy discussing the concrete details of the world.

pegasus_by_thedrawinghands-d59ipwgBut still, how does one really identify this in a person? It’s probably the most difficult trait to identify without having someone actually take the test.

You must ask the right questions, of course.

Recently, at a 4th of July party, there was a gathering of a large amount of personalities. One of my friends brought her new boyfriend to the party and demanded I identify his type (I say demanded because she’s an ENTJ.) The fellow had never even heard of Myers-Briggs and so, with the urging of my peers, I decided I would do my best to explain. Afterwards they wanted me to type him.

Through a series of questions we determined he was an Introvert, a Thinker, and a Perceiver. But the iNtuitive versus Sensing question had the majority of the room stumped. So I decided to throw out my favorite question to ask a room full of people: if you could own a pet dragon or pegasus, which would you choose?images

The guy didn’t miss a beat. “Dragon,” he told me. Why? “Because it’s cooler.” That’s all? “That’s all.”

Instantly I knew what he was. I turned to my friend, a well known INTJ, and asked him what he would choose. “Well it depends. I might choose a dragon, but what would be its size? Can it breathe fire? Does it even like me?”
His father, an ENTP interrupted him. “You don’t want a dragon. Pegasus can create a Hippocrene. That’d be incredibly useful.” For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), according to the legend, wherever the winged horse’s hoofs strike the earth, a spring bursts forth.

I waved my hands to signal everyone to stop. I turned to the mother, an ISFJ and asked the same question. Her answer? Pegasus. Why? It’d be easier to care

After allowing the rest of the room to chime in, I told them my conclusion. Her boyfriend was a Sensor.

If you ask an N an abstract answer their curiosity will inevitably be piqued and they tend to go on and on with questions and reasons. When I asked him why he didn’t give me any other reasons besides, “It’s cooler,” he told me, “I mean, does it really matter? It’s fake.”

Sensors might play along, but the intensity and excitement over something fictional usually doesn’t hold their interests for long. If I had let the question linger, the Ns might have circled around dragons and pegasuses the entire night.

Is this method fool proof? Absolutely not. But it’s fairly accurate and adds some fun into the interrogation. That said my question for you is this: what would you prefer to own as a pet? A dragon or a pegasus? Your answer says more about you than you might realize.

66 thoughts on “iNtuitives and Sensors: Dragon vs Pegasus

  1. annesquared says:

    Interesting approach ….

    • Thanks! Glad you liked it.

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot12GA says:

      After the “Dragon or Pegasus” question, I stopped because I didn’t want to read any further without determining my answer without any bias (I’ve tested both INTJ and ISTJ). My thought process was as follows: “Well… Pegasus is cool.. and friendly. But dragons are also cool.. and they may be friendly. Are we talking mean dragons? or “How to Train Your Dragon”-type dragons? They can both fly… but you’d need less room for a pegasus than you’d need for a dragon… how difficult are each to train in relation to one another? Do I have the resources I need for each?…”etc. You get the picture.

      Then I literally laughed out loud when I continued reading. Thank you for this insightful (and fun) indicating tool. 🙂


      An appreciative INTJ

  2. Hannah says:

    And here I thought you were going for an either/or! Very interesting!
    FYI, I’d totally choose a Pegasus…unless I could have Toothless from HTTYD. Then I’d take a dragon

  3. Leelu says:

    Love it. At the end of a job interview, I once was asked “Betty or Veronica?” After feeling rushed to come to a decision with almost no context I asked her why her question. I was pretty disappointed when she said she just wanted to see if anyone would pick Veronica.

  4. Diego Auer says:

    I dont get it. Do you imply that N’s will always choose Pegasus and S’ will always chose Dragon because they can’t see the full potential of the “boring flying horse”?
    They’re both fantasy creatures, which means they can both have an unlimited amount of abilities. One could jus tbe as great or lame as the other. You gotta be a bit more specific about the details here before you make a poll and judge people’s types from it.

    • Ah, I apologize, perhaps I wasn’t clear. It’s not so much the creature they choose but the way they choose it. An S will usually give a more S like response. For instance, I asked my father (ESFJ) which he would choose and he said, “Pegasus for sure. The dragon might eat the neighbor’s kids!”

      Then my little brother (ENTJ) responded, “Who cares? My dragon would make all bow before me. Think of the possibilities! No one would dare oppose me if I owned a dragon.”

      One is a very concrete response, one is abstract. Ss tend to respond concretely while Ns respond abstractly.

      Hope this helps!

      • Diego Auer says:

        To me the difference between the answers seems to be more like that the S type will try to compare both pets by listing possible outcomes, while the N type goes straight into the possibilities of his chosen pet while ignoring the possibilities of a life with the other pet completely.

        But afaik the question wasn’t “How would your life change if you chose one of these two pets” but simply “What pet would you choose and why”.

        I asked my friend (ISFP) what pet he would choose and he said none, because the flying horse would be too much work and the dragon would kill too many people. Then he said he’d pick the horse because he can imagine it to be easier to maintain.

        I (ESTJ) would pick the dragon because dragons are boss and nobody could take that fire-breathing beast away from me because even if it was tame it would still have its own head if others tried to get it to do something against its will. It would be pretty much able to take care of itself if I was busy or away and it could hunt for its own food, it could take me to places and play with me and my friends. I wouldn’t want the horse because even if it’s magic it looks more vulnerable and easier to catch, which I presume would be the other people’s biggest interest at first sight and if all this happened in the real world. After all, you dont get to see a winged lizard or horse every day.

      • Ah, the ESTJ going for straight power!

        I really enjoyed reading your response. Fun stuff. And yes, Ns tend to be more about possibilities and Ss tend to focus on outcomes. You hit the nail on the head.

  5. niisblog says:

    I’m a sensor and I automatically chose the dragon. And yes, there’s no point in continuing a discussion on what fantasy pet to choose

  6. Squirrel says:

    Soooo…If I answered that I choose Pegasus because it’s prettier I’m most likely a sensor?

  7. Haruhi says:

    I asked my friend this question and he gave me a rather neat reply:
    “Well, in attack and defense, dragons come out on top, they can withstand really high temperatures, they’re bigger, making you smaller/harder to hit. they usually have lots of treasure they are guarding (which means I can rax some), welding a sword on a pegasus isnt quite as badass, when he dies his bones will be an awesome centrepiece, he can literally spit fire, and eat people, They have horns, which can be used for general badassery, they lay eggs, which are a lot more enjoyable as a birth process for everyone involved, and they are feared more than seen as pretty (like pegasus) we can share a 2 pack of steaks I would name him spyro”.

  8. Sabrish says:

    I’m an INTJ and i think types with extraverted intuition would love to talk about multiple possibilities but ones with introverted intuition would prefer to give a shorter answer. I’m not sure about the others but i would say that a dragon would be pretty cool to have because nobody would mess with me if i had one.

    • Great response. Thanks, Sabrish!

    • Hello, I found this approach to determine (S) and (N) to be highly amusing and very interesting, although I think perhaps some (dominant) Ne users can end up as a mistype, probably prone to appear as an (S) if they fail to ‘connect’ to the situation and the question, something which is usually depending on how healthy their mental state is . (confused/distracted/stressed/underdeveloped)

      I think Ni types will be prone to focus ‘pet’ then ‘situation’ and finally ‘external situation’, while Ne types will perhaps have a tendency to focus ‘external situation’ situation’ then finally close in on ‘pet’. The difference is, I think, that of being converging and diverging in their mental approach – Ne types will often approach something by moving away from it, in other words they prefer to ‘take the indirect route’.

      I am ENFP and my first react was ‘why pegasus and dragon? what is the significance of… etc etc’ while my Ne was going into ‘overdrive’ to ‘engulf’ the whole situation, before I finally (almost like an afterthought) decided on dragon.

      Thank you for the inspiration and all the lovely patterns 🙂

  9. KnightFall says:

    Hmmm interesting… however one hitch I could see with this is how relaxed/introverted he was. Being a very introverted INTP I would be likly to give a reponse like “It’s cooler, that’s all” simply to take the heat of myself, that’s not to say I wouldn’t justify it longer in my brain but I don’t think this stratergy would be effective on introverts unless they were really comfortable which is very unlokly for a first meeting.

  10. Jess says:

    INTJ here. After reading the question (but before reading the analysis) I spent a good four minutes silently examining each possibility before concluding I’d failed the test by deliberating for too long. I completely appreciate the trick question though! Well done. I tried it on my husband who just responded “Dragons are more badass” and did not elaborate. Booo. Hiss.

    In other news, I really want someone to debate the merits of different mythical pets with me for the next hour.

    • Jess,

      That is hilarious. I love it. I’ll deliberate with you. I think I’d rather have a pegasus because feeding it would be far easier, it’d be less dangerous, and easier to house. However, if it were a time of war I might go with the dragon for obvious reasons.

      • Jess says:

        I’d need a lot more information from previous per owners before making a decision. Size, lifespan, temperament, Govt policy on exotic pet ownership, diet, cost of upkeep, proximity to a vet, whether the dragon would keep stealing my jewellery… There are just too many unknowns! If I was living in a universe where these were common pets, I would seek advice and then decide. If it’s this universe (or any other in which they are equally unknown), then maybe I don’t want either as a pet really. Also I have two cats which I’m unwilling to give up. So I suppose I’d choose a pegasus on the assumption that it would be easier to make a profit on, either by selling it or via appearances. I think if I had a dragon it would be confiscated and either put down or used by someone (like yourself!) as a war machine. 🙂

      • I laughed out loud at this! XD

        I was assuming this would be in our world. But the fact that you explored all the possibilities is certainly indicative of your type. So there really are no governmental boundaries, no vets, or previous owners to get your information from. Just good old fashioned imagination (which clearly you have a spectacular one.) 🙂

  11. Rojo says:

    To be honest I always thought that I was a sensor despite getting INTJ in most personality quizzes mainly because I take the meanings of poetry too literally and never understand metaphors well. But this post cleared the air. Now I understand why I can never give a yes or no answer over a cup of tea or as to why I over think on every day matters

  12. Amy says:

    Although a flying horse would be cool, I would choose the dragon for it’s protection ability, and like someone else said, it is bigger and you will look like a smaller target! I want a huge beast of a pet, plus that fire breathing would come in handy on cold winter nights, and I could snuggle up to him and be so very warm. And with a dragon as a pet, no one would try to steal my most valuable treasures-my books, hot tea and writing journals! Plus no one would mess with my kids. Can you guess my type?!

    • Hi Amy!

      Judging by your response I would definitely peg you as an N! Now for the difficult part. I am going to guess an INFJ, but I realize this could be a stretch. I will let you know my reasoning when you reply!

  13. Clarity says:

    I’m late to the party, but I’d pick the Pegasus over the dragon. Why? I pondered on this for awhile before scrolling down to read your rationale. Ultimately to me, the Pegasus represents hope, triumph, beauty, and wisdom. The dragon-unless it’s a Toothless variety-is more of a destructive force, burning everything in its path. The Pegasus I see as a force for good and the dragon a force for evil. I asked a young relative this question and he said that he’d pick the Pegasus because he could more easily pick up girls. The dragon would likely frighten them! 🙂 He was excited by the question and wanted to discuss more and more possibilities for outcomes. He types ENTP and I am INFJ. Both of us took this question quite seriously!

    I imagine that Extraverted intuition dominance(enfp/entp) would yield multiplying outcomes on this question(If this…then that, what if this? what if that?) and could continue on like this for hours. Introverted intuitives(intj/infj) would most likely lean towards the symbolic or hidden meanings, perhaps diving deeply into the myths behind the characters. This too could go on indefinitely. Of course other types would have their own approaches, but this is my observation from my interaction with my relative. Great exercise!

  14. Diego Auer says:

    Sorry bout that, it seems I was mistyped back then. Turned out to be ENTP, and now I know why it never felt right and I identified with NTP stuff so much. Haha

  15. Random ENFP Guy says:

    This is a great question, so many thoughts, theory’s and idea’s just flooded my mind when I asked myself that question. Probably due to being an NF, I can’t even bring myself to pick one. I could see the pro/cons of both choices etc.etc the list goes on and on!

    I randomly chanced upon your blog and I love it! Please don’t stop!!

  16. Diego Auer says:

    And to answer the question I would STILL pick dragon.

  17. Fluffernutter says:

    This is a touch question. Hmm. What if I can’t pick between Dragon OR pegasus? I would want the pegasus because I love horses, and they are fantastic gentle creatures–and if it had wings, it would be even BETTER. However, a dragon would be a much more fearsome creature to behold and if I trained it, it could protect me from danger. If it was a nice dragon and I trained it from birth then it we wouldn’t have a problem…same with pegasus. Now we’re getting into nature vs. nurture…oh my.

    My entp friend says pegasus because “it’s more sexy.”

  18. Kiki says:

    When I heard the question, I chose the pegasus right away, with the thought that I could be on its back, flying high above in an exciting adventure. The dragon wouldn’t be that friendly and I would not be able to develop a close relationship with it. With the pegasus, I am going to travel to places noone has ever been to and enjoy my complete freedom. it would be a great getaway, whenever I’m tired of socialising.

    Based on my answer, I probably will put myself to the intuitives group. Mostly I score as an INFP, but sometimes it turns out as ISFP though. What do you think?

  19. S says:

    Clever and helpful!!

  20. RDC says:

    Thank you! This solved my INTJ vs ISTJ problem I’ve been having since I first took the test. FINALLY have an answer. It’s such a simple prompt too. While I might answer quickly if put on the spotlight, I would have already brainstormed dozens of scenarios/fantasies on each choice and questions I’d like to ask on the practicality of choosing one over the other. Pegasus’s are generally depicted as nothing more than horses with wings and a few magical properties. Beautiful, but not much use. Dragons range from feral monsters that would burn the world to ash (Reign of Fire) to intelligent sentient magical creatures (Sword of Truth). If the dragon was intelligent, or at the very least loyal, it would be my choice for sure. A pretty pet vs a useful and loyal friend.

  21. ToddCommish says:

    I would choose the dragon, mainly based on the commercial (and later, resale) value. I would suspect several people would pay BILLIONS for a dragon (Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, Elon Musk, and other power-hungry attention seekers)

    Interestingly, I’m conducting MBTI training this week, and I may “leverage” this exercise, at least partially because I’m gonna have a roomful of N’s and I need a way to reach all of them.

  22. Kelly says:

    I loved this article, very original.
    For my part, I would have said pégasus (I love mythology Greek). The dragon is a nice animal but too aggressive in my opinion.

    But personally, I would have taken no animal, at least I would not be bother lol

    I have a question concerning this article.
    this is able that the intuitive persons could doubt their intuition?

    Was told myself I that the persons who doubted their intuition summer sensorier.

  23. poodle says:

    hum could you choose both? perhaps feed the pegasus to the dragon? after all mythic legend says that if one eats ones opponents brain one absorbs his superpowers.

    You would then get a mythical dragon with Pegasus skills. A Dragosus with soft comfy fur instead of scales ,and then when it died it could become a great fur coat!

    That sounds rather cool and very environmentally friendly…

    But the question is nice. I must try it on my friends, thanks for the tip 🙂

    • Hmmm. Since you asked, I have decided to let you have both. I mean, it’s your fantasy, is it not? Also, your response is hilarious. I take it you’re some sort of N?

      • poodle says:

        Well you did not specifically say you could only choose one, simply “if” you had to choose one.

        Im merely exploring the box (did not even have to break it…not really) and bending its edges within the boundaries you have given, to my own gain…

        And yeh I am a female entp….

  24. Anna says:

    Reminds me of my sister, my dad and me discussing time travel and its implications (does killing your own parents and therefore prevent your own birth cause a paradoxon or if a second universe would be created) and my mom was standing next to us and after a while she just said “why are you even talking about this? time travel is impossible.” – well that answers that question for pretty much everyone in my imidiate family. My mom is way more practical in everything she does than the rest of the family.

  25. ENTJ female here. Loved your post on percent of type by gender btw! Just wanted to point this out a flaw in this method so you can better type people (even though you already clarified it was just for fun and not totally accurate). I would have said “a dragon because it is cooler” and left it as that simply because it was a direct way to answer the question. I think that the ability do dive into the imaginary usually has a point for ENTJ’s so this question wouldn’t work as well for sorting our type. I could talk to you for 5 hours about about your strategy for business through in a theoretical and future orientated way, so I am not less N. In fact I am too N for my own good socially :/ but just sharing my thoughts for your typing that this strategy may work better for other N types than us. Again loving your blog so far though, just found it and will explore more 🙂

    • Aye aye says:

      I identified myself as an ENFP, and I’d totally say “Dragon because it’s cooler” too.

      Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking in my head about how nice it would be to have a dragon like Toothless on How to Train your Dragon, but at the same time I’d also worry about whether it’s gonna be difficult to actually train them (like how Daenaerys in Game of Thrones had problem with controlling her dragons). So yeah, I guess it’s kind of a learned response in my case. Most people I know IRL wouldn’t care much about my reasoning and feel bored if I went on and on about the details so I’d just answer something short and easy to accept for that matter.

  26. Cool girl says:

    I knew it! Im definetely a sensor.. But im very intutive too.. what makes a sensor intuitive??

  27. foyle says:

    I like your post a lot. Since I have been disturbed many times this afternoon in my attempts to read the comments and replies in peace (Ni Dom), nevertheless this bought me time to finally decide which “pet” to choose. Of course, the impications “hit me” immediately, and sure, I was convinced (even after having read all of the above), that somehow it is necessary to choose one of them. Then again, the pictures in your original post caused my imagination to roam the meta-perspectives (again Ni Dom), and the decision process does not take place. Especially, as we are talking mythical creatures. As for any “mundane” choice my decision would have been done in a matter of seconds, and then forfeit – “mundane” choices of course having no consequence in my world. Yet, the question remains – am I an INTJ or an INFJ. Have spent a year wondering…

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