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 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.

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38 thoughts on “iNtuitives and Sensors: Dragon vs Pegasus

  1. annesquared says:

    Interesting approach ….

  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.

  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.

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