Enticing (vs. dull)
This primal concerns how much we see the world as generally full of interesting and beautiful things or dull and ugly things. In their foundational 2019 paper, Clifton and his research team describe Enticing like this:
Those low on Enticing inhabit dull and ugly worlds where exploration offers low return on investment. They know real treasure—truly beautiful and fascinating things—is rare and treasure-hunting appropriate only when it’s a sure bet. Those high on Enticing inhabit an irresistibly fascinating reality. They know treasure is around every corner, in every person, under every rock, and beauty permeates all. Thus, life is a gift, boredom a misinformed lifestyle choice, and exploration and appreciation is the only rational way to live.
The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet.
— J. K. Rowling, 2015 tweet
We live in a beautiful world / Yeah we do, yeah we do
— Coldplay’s 1999 song Don’t Panic
There’s treasure everywhere.
— Calvin, 1996, Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson
How Enticing Relates to the Other Primals
Along with Safe and Alive, Enticing is one of the “big three” primals and is thus one of the major reasons for seeing the world as Good. Enticing itself is also made up of the following seven primals about more specific qualities:
- Interesting (vs. boring)
- Beautiful (vs. ugly)
- Abundant (vs. barren)
- Worth Exploring (vs. not worth exploring)
- Meaningful (vs. meaningless)
- Improvable (vs. too hard to improve)
- Funny (vs. not funny).
Interpreting Enticing Scores
Please note that the ranges provided below are somewhat outdated and based on an early version of the Primals Inventory. They are provided for reference only.
|Scores||% of U.S.||Implicit Reality||Description|
|0-2.3||5%||An extremely dull world||Those in this range see activities, people, and places as not worth exploring until proven otherwise. Beautiful and fascinating things are few and very far between. Ubiquitous curiosity is naïve.|
|2.3-3.1||20%||A somewhat boring world||Those in this range also see extremely curious people as a bit naïve but are themselves more likely to think that some things are worth exploring.|
|3.1-4.3||50%||A somewhat interesting world||The average American scores a 3.7 and sees the world as somewhat interesting. Those in the middle are least likely to see themselves as holding a belief about the world. They can relate to everyone but may be a bit baffled by the behavior of those on both extremes. Even within this large group (50% of the population), where one scores may still matter a great deal.|
|4.3-4.9||20%||A fascinating world||Those in this range are very curious people. They expect people they meet to be interesting and the places they go to be fascinating; they are nearly always excited to explore further. They do not understand people who lack curiosity and wonder why they don’t “get it.”|
|4.9-5||5%||An irresistibly enticing world||Thankful for everything life has to offer, those scoring very high go through life expecting beauty and fascination around every corner and are drawn to see and do as much as possible. To them, that is simply the only rational and appropriate response to a world permeated by and saturated with immense beauty, meaning, and abundance. They find people who get easily bored to be wholly alien—and have lots of questions for them.|
What Does Enticing Predict?
When people are in places they see as really enticing, we would expect them to behave in certain ways, such as being grateful, curious, open to experience, extroverted, and so forth. When it comes to seeing the world as enticing, we see a similar pattern.
Enticing is highly related to a host of personality and well-being variables. These include curiosity, gratitude, openness to experience, agreeableness, extroversion, engagement with life, positive emotion, meaning in life, a sense of accomplishment, and even having friends. Likewise, scoring low on Enticing is related to psychopathy, depression, and not trying.
Identifying Enticing is the single most important discovery of primals research so far. While Safe has been studied to a small degree, Enticing is both wholly unexplored and of immense practical importance. Enticing may play an enormous role in one’s own well-being and mental health; it’s just as important as Safe. Often Safe and Enticing correlate (increase and decrease together). After all, they are the two main reasons for seeing the world as Good (Alive is icing on the cake). However, sometimes Safe and Enticing work very differently. For example, it appears almost impossible to be a curious person or a grateful person without scoring high on Enticing. But, when it comes to those traits, Safe scores don’t matter much.
Family members, friends, and colleagues, who score differently on Enticing may have different baseline assumptions for vague situations. This may lead to a variety of misunderstandings and differing opinions. For example, those scoring high on Enticing may be able to spot amazing opportunities, but they may also be sucked in by bad ones. Those scoring low on Enticing may be less likely to be fooled or waste their time, but they may be more likely to miss opportunities and have life pass them by.
Disclaimer: All this must be taken with a grain of salt. Research is ongoing.