Divergent Book Shows Us Personality Conflicts

Divergent Book Cover

Divergent Book

Are you “divergent?” Have you taken a personality test multiple times, and each time you are labeled something different? That is the definition of being divergent in the book of the same title by Veronica Roth. In her dystopian world, being divergent means that your personality type is not determined.

The book “Divergent,” is a good book to read from the perspective of personality type for a couple of reasons. First, it has some good parallels to the four different personality temperaments, and second, it lets us see into the mind of the person that wrote the book and get there perspective on how they view other people. This second reason has direct application to the world of selling and marketing, because you want to know how your customers think.

Wikipedia has this synopsis of the book Divergent:

“The future citizens of Chicago live in a society that is divided into five factions, each one meant to uphold a particular virtue of humanity: Abnegation, meant to uphold selflessness; Amity, meant for the peaceful; Candor, meant for the honest; Dauntless, meant for the brave; and Erudite, intended for the intelligent. On a given day each year, all sixteen-year-olds take an personality test that will tell them for which faction they are best suited. After receiving the results of their test, they must decide whether to remain with their family or transfer to a new faction.”

[adsense float=’left’]The five factions are sort of mix of the four personality temperaments that you read about here at CustomerSecrets.com. That means the author of the book creates one new one, by splitting off the traits of two of the temperaments.

I’ll show you how she does this, and give you a cross reference so you can have a better understanding of the personality types referenced in the book:

Dauntless: This is a direct correlation to the Warrior personality temperament.

Erudite: This is a direct correlation to the Strategist personality temperament.

This is where any direct correlations stop, and where Veronica Roth does mixing of the two remaining temperaments to create the three remaining factions in the story.

What I call the Morale Officer personality temperament, would be a mixture of “all” of the Amity faction traits, as well as some of the Abnegation faction traits. Amity is peace-loving, which is the big virtue of the Morale Officers. In addition to that, the trait that would would come out of the Abnegation faction is the “selflessness” aspect. Morale Officers are givers of themselves, and would work for the good of others.

In simple terms: Morale Officer = Amity + the selflessness of Abnegation

Finally, what I call the Logistical personality type, would also be a mixture of two factions in the book. It would be all the traits of the Candor faction (honesty and integrity), and a lot of the traits of the Abnegation faction. I wouldn’t call the Logistical personality type as being 100% selfless, but they are the producers of resources. This is important, because in the book Divergent, it is the Abnegation faction that is the producers of resources. They are the farmers and the managers of the city. I would say that Logisticals are more like the Abnegation faction with the integrity portion of the Candor faction. Therefore:

Logistical = Candor + the resource mindedness of Abnegation

Being a “divergent” person in the book is supposed to be a rare occurrence. That is what makes them special. However, in real life, most people would be classified as divergent. Most people are a mixture of personality types. You can see why this is from my previous post: “Why do Personality Test Assessments Change Over Time?”

It is actually more rare to be non-divergent, which would be absolutely certainty of personality temperament!

What Does The Author Think About You?

The other important aspect of this book, is the insight it brings to us about the beliefs of the author. Veronica Roth, by her own admission in the appendix of the book, would describe herself as being in the Dauntless faction. In reality, this would make her a person with the Warrior personality temperament. My definition of a Warrior is someone that has both of the Sensing and Perceiving traits that are found in the MBTI classification system.

What we can pick up from this book, is what does a person with the Warrior personality temperament believe about the other types:

Strategists: They believe that they are boring bookworms that spend all their time in the library. They distrust them to a very large extent, and may even think they are devious because they don’t tell everything they know.

Logisticals: The Warrior admires the person with the Logistical personality temperament for their sense of selfless duty and creation of resources. But they resent that those resources are withheld from them. Warriors don’t like it, and see the Logistical person as being greedy. They also think Logistical’s are boring too, and wear drab clothing that makes them blend into their surroundings. The Logistical’s, like their counterparts, the Abnegation in the book, aren’t likely to get tattoos.

Morale Officers: The Amity faction in the book is rarely mentioned. What does that tell you of the thoughts that Warriors have for people with the Morale Officers temperament in real life? Right. They don’t hardly think of them. While they think that being peace-loving is a nice virtue, in reality it is naïve belief to the Warrior, and has little practical value.

Warriors: The author has a fondness for other people in the Dauntless faction. They are her family, despite all the negative traits they might have. They get tattoos. They are in-your-face. They are generous with their resources (no one has a real job, but they still get credits to go buy stuff at the clothing stores). They take chances in spite of their fears. They are the only ones that are willing to conquer their fears by facing them directly and going to the extreme. But they are competitive and willing to take out their competition in order to come out on time.

The reason I like this book, is because the characters in the Dauntless faction are very much true to life. They act like their Warrior-temperament counterparts act like in the real world. I also like that the author does a good job of letting us know how Warriors view the world around them.

How would you use this information to make a sale?

Knowing what the prospect thinks of you is priceless information in making a sale. For example, if they think you’re boring, what does that do for the chances of the sale? If you try to be something you’re not, then it is likely that you’ll blow the sale.

I would suggest that you own the trait and not try to cover it up. So a Logistical trying to sell to a Warrior would get more believability  if they said something like:

“Your courage is remarkable. I live such a boring life in comparison. How do you overcome your fears so easily?”

[adsense float=’left’]You need credibility to make a sale. Owning your traits (being authentic) and setting them out their for your customers to see makes you believable and builds rapport. If you try to fake it, they’ll see you as trying to be manipulative, and you’ll lose the sale.





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2 Responses to Divergent Book Shows Us Personality Conflicts

  1. Tim says:

    This is a very interesting article! I love the whole warrior/morale officers/logistics/strategists theory. In the second book (which I’m reading now) the Amity faction is getting a lot more attention! I find it interesting that Abnegation fits under both the logistics/moral officer category- it makes sense when I come to think of it. I also enjoy the warrior perspective on how they view the morale officers and strategists (which are the two types I am 😉 ) and I agree keeping peace with everyone is naive- although I certainly don’t think I could change that! Could you list some people you know who you think are each of the types (warrior/morale officers/logistics/strategists) like celebrities or people in history?

    • Tim Van Milligan says:

      I’m reading the third book now, and in it, Veronica Ross (a warrior) gives her opinions of other personality types by the metaphors she uses for them. From Chapter 11:

      Logisticals (Abnegation) – Stiffs
      Logistical (Candor) – Jerks
      Morale Officers (Amity) – Pansycake
      Strategist (Erudite) – Noses

      People never like the other temperaments, and always have derogatory terms for them.

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