Blood Type And Personality

My blood type is AB. Many Koreans believe that people with AB blood types are eccentric and can’t get along with other ABs. My wife also has an AB blood type. But we’ve been happy together for 38 years.

Young Koreans especially seem to believe in a correlation between blood type and personality. They talk as if someone’s blood type explains everything about their personality, attributing everything they do to their blood type.

Korea and Japan are the only two countries in the world where people believe in this blood type – personality connection. In the U.S, it’s considered nonsense, since there’s no scientific basis for it.

People who believe in it argue that they observe unique characteristics in people with certain blood types. What they don’t realize is that they’re selectively observant; they only notice examples that agree with their preconceived ideas.

I was talking to a church member who seemed to strongly believe in this correlation. I suggested a test and asked her to guess the blood types of 5 of our deacons. She got 4 out of 5 wrong. In particular, she couldn’t identify the 3 deacons who have blood type AB. (I remember because theirs is the same as mine.)

What was interesting was her reaction when she found out about the 3 deacons. “Now I see. Yeah, they’re typical ABs.” She wasn’t able to tell the deacons’ blood types before I told her, but was confident of it afterwards. Like many people, she viewed them according to her trait filter, seeing only the AB traits and forgetting or ignoring traits contrary to the type. If I had told her that they have a different blood type, I’m certain that she would also have seen that as confirmation of the blood type theory, seeing in the deacons only the traits of the other type.

I’m not denying that there are categories of personalities. In fact, we studied the 4 main personality types at the Shepherds’ retreat last weekend. But at the retreat, people identified their personalities by filling out questionnaires and analyzing the results. Believing that we can know someone’s personality if we simply know their blood type is groundless and can be even dangerous.

The fact that so many Koreans strongly believe in this, even without any scientific evidence, helps me understand why so many Koreans are lured into cults with absurd belief systems, and why the whole country was upset when rumors circulated that beef imported from the U.S. causes Mad Cow disease, without any scientific evidence. Sometimes Koreans believe what they want to believe, regardless of what the evidence shows.

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