Personalities vs. Escape Rooms

Jackson Chavarria is a manager at Cross Roads Escape Games, has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is working on his Master’s degree. Here is his take on interesting things he sees in our escape rooms through his psychology perspective.

In an escape room, it is always best to come in and play with multiple people to avoid burnout or frustration with oneself. You are there to have fun, and bringing others is a great way to ensure higher odds of success and establish a stronger connection with those involved. In a perfect world, you are in an escape room with people who understand how you think and with whom you work well. Since this is likely not the case, it is best to get a good feel for those in your group and have a solid grasp of their personalities to know if it meshes well with yours.

There are many methods by which we as humans have attempted to classify others around us to come to a decisive conclusion about how we should categorize them. Several popularized theories exist that help distinguish people and better understand who they are in a short matter of time. However, a sizeable portion of these “personality quizzes” are anything but reliable.

In recent years, psychologists have recognized some characteristics as vital to one’s personality. These are “the Big 5”: agreeableness, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Some of these may sound familiar, and others like a foreign language, so let’s break them down:

  1. Agreeableness= kindness to others.
  2. Extraversion= sociability
  3. Openness= creativity and one’s intrigue
  4. Conscientiousness= thoughtfulness
  5. Neuroticism= linked to emotional instability.

Every person has varying levels of each personality factor, and often it is most comfortable to be with those who are like us. However, in a stressful situation, the best (and sometimes worst) parts of ourselves come to the surface. Being with people who can round us out in times of anxiety and stress usually means going out of your comfort zone and getting to know people whom you may not naturally interact with. You can make up for their shortcomings, and they can make up for yours!

There is a great website (you can find it HERE) to figure out how much you score with each personality factor, which takes about 10 minutes to complete. The test is similar to a love language test for those who’ve taken one before; it asks you specific questions that gauge each factor’s percentage for you and informs you what a high and low percentage indicates. Knowing everyone’s different personality types is essential in understanding how and why someone reacts in high-pressure scenarios. This can equip you with the tools needed to properly take into account not just your own abilities but how well they mesh (or clash) with your fellow players.

Escape rooms are highly dependent on the dynamic of the group. As a game master, one of the most disheartening things to see in a group is a lack of creativity and diverse thinking. With a strong comprehension of the players in your group, you can overcome this consistent obstacle and be a threat to those who are currently on the leaderboard of the fastest times escaped!