“Fantasy Prone” Personality

I stopped by writer Lauren Waters` blog today ( You can find her post here: http://laurenwaters.net/2011/09/12/are-fantasysci-fiparanormal-writers-fantasy-prone/#comment-187 ) and she had a very interesting post about having a fantasy prone personality. I have always known myself to be an extremely day dreamy type of person – ever since I was a kid. But I had no idea that they had identified this as an actual personality trait. Makes sense though.

Lauren went ahead and rated herself against the traits identified by psychologists Sheryl C. Wilson and Theodore X. Barber. There are 14 traits in total. I found the whole thing very intresting and I was inspired to rate myself, too. Thanks for this post, Lauren! 🙂

Here are the criteria:

(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject, (2) having imaginary playmates as a child, (3) fantasizing frequently as a child, (4) adopting a fantasy identity, (5) experiencing imagined sensations as real, (6) having vivid sensory perceptions, (7) reliving past experiences, (8) claiming psychic powers, (9) having out-of-body or floating experiences, (10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like, (11) being involved in “healing,” (12) encountering apparitions, (13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams), and (14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space).

Wilson and Barber considered having six or more traits worthy of the designation of fantasy prone.

So, where do I stand? Let`s see. Haha.

(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject. I wouldn`t know about this one. I think the whole hypnosis thing is creepy. No points here.

(2) having imaginary playmates as a child. Um, yes. Should I be admitting this? My sister and I came up with various different characters. But we both knew they weren`t real. We just had fun pretending the imaginary friends were there.

(3) fantasizing frequently as a child. That is basically all I did as a child.

(4) adopting a fantasy identity. I won`t go into detail, but yes. There is nothing more fun than pretending you have another world to go to. ..where you are a braver, smarter version of yourself.

(5) experiencing imagined sensations as real. Not often, but yes.

(6) having vivid sensory perceptions. Definitely.

(7) reliving past experiences. Wow. Yes. I have vivid memories from as early as three and four years old. And I do focus too much on the past sometimes.

(8) claiming psychic powers. Haha. No.

(9) having out-of-body or floating experiences. No.

(10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like. Thank goodness, no.

(11) being involved in “healing,”. I am not sure I understand what this means. So I will have to go with no.

(12) encountering apparitions. Once or twice. But I swear this was actually not my imagination.

(13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams). Unfotunately, yes. Always creepy.

(14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space). Nope. But too late…I think I have already established that I am weird.

Okay, so I scored 8 out of 14. I have a fantasy prone mind. Being this strange is a good thing when you write fantasy and paranormal stuff. 🙂 People with this personality score highest in creativity.

And, as Lauren`s blog post shows, I am not alone.


12 thoughts on ““Fantasy Prone” Personality

  1. I can relate. I was always getting in trouble as a kid at school for not paying attention because my mind was “somewhere else”. Not much has changed.
    I think a lot of writers probably have this personality to some degree. It helps us create worlds and feel what fictional characters are feeling. It makes the story come to life.

  2. I got 10 of 14 by making some assumptions. I’ve never heard of this as a personality type. Finally, I don’t have to worry that I’m autistic or ADD. It’s just my personality! Loved your answers. I appreciated the humor in some of the answers. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I think that it’s been under studied!! That’s cool how you’ve scored high on the test! 🙂 I think what could be seen as a disorder is many times just a very special or gifted personality. 🙂

      1. I agree as it gives me years of relief. I honestly never heard of it as a personality type before I read your post. I certainly recognize it but just thought of it as being easily sidetracked. When I finally drifted into research and development work, that ability to dream up complete environments with systems of systems really paid off. I was no longer a dreamer, I was a visionary, LOL!

      2. True, like a form of ADHD, right? From what I have read, psychologists figure it’s a disorder, which I can’t take seriously since writers need imagination and day dreaming.
        To do the sort of writing that you do, you’d need to have the sort of mind that can build systems within systems. 🙂 Yes, I’d say visionary is more accurate!

      3. I agree. I have grown very comfortable with how my mind works. My personality is ISTJ. The introvert part is 78% This is because I have grown comfortable living inside my head and I don’t require a large social network in my personal life because I have a very active one in my thoughts. I worked with a lot of very creative people and we all share similar traits. We would joke that we were a good group because we shared so many personality defects. My professional life was very rewarding because I was among my own kind 🙂

      4. Ok, so I had meant to comment on this, got side tracked, and finally have a chance to. Yay for you knowing your Myers-Briggs type! I was actually surprised with your personality type when I first read this, in a good way. I usually think of writers as being INFPs/ENFPs or INFJs/ENFJs, but now I won’t think in such a bubble! You write very sensitively and you can really capture emotions and senses in your writing. It’s that 78% introversion that provides you with a rich inner world, and the T part of your personality must really help balance it out at the same time. Haha I scored 94% introversion (As an INFP) which is a little scary, but not surprising. You’re also pretty lucky to have been able to work with a lot of creative people. I am still hoping for a professional life with other creatives. It is always comforting to be around those who can share at lease some of your personality defects! Aha

      5. That is very interesting, Sara. I never thought of how it impacts my writing, but you are correct. It was like a light bulb coming on for me when you described the dreamer’s world and your connection to it. The inward reflection and thinking can be very vivid for me. Real life memories or stream of consciousness imagining all allow me to examine things in great detail and the S and J give me the analytical objectiveness to judge my thoughts according to the “fit” to some purpose. As an analyst and strategic planner, this quality came in very handy in my research and development work where things are “dreamed up” to solve complex problems. I eventually tuned this toward writing. I might be an exception to those types that normally fit a writers personality profile. Hmmmmm. I wonder…. 🙂

      6. Yes, and your writing really shows the quality of research as you weave the facts into an entrancing story. I really enjoy your writing style and I’ve learned a lot actually from your writing. It’s cool that your memories are so vivid, and of course with your specific personality type, you can be more objective with the information most times.
        Do you feel special that you’re an exception to the usual type of person who writes? Lol

      7. It’s inebriating to read that my efforts strike a cord or resonate with someone. I am one of those people that both sides of my brain appear equally engaged. I work daily in research and development using objective science and yet I can instantly depart that world and enter one far away from objectivity and into abstract thought. I was also able to use my left and right hand equally well to write or do other tasks though I am predominantly right handed. So, I guess I am a bit of an odd duck in that respect. I call it versatility but most people lean more toward eccentricity. 🙂

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