Psychology Behind The Choice

DISCLAIMER: The thoughts and theories in this article are shared by myself and few others. It may not necessarily be the way everyone interprets them. Read this article with an open mind and enjoy!

I had been thinking about The Choice from a psychological perspective for sometime, more so after reading this Reddit post. Not everyone gets to choose their path, Enlightened or Resistance. Often the choice is made for us because family, friends, or recruiters have already made it. Now this is where things get interesting… Did those that chose their faction naturally, really make the choice themselves, or was it already made for them as well?


First thing first, let’s identify a single word to represent each of these choices

I want to explore the emotional spectrum of the Lantern Corps from DC Comics. There are seven Lantern Corps, each representing a single emotion in which they draw their power from. Here we focus on the Blue & Green Lantern Corps.


With these, we are left with the words Hope and Willpower as our sources of power. Hope is synonymous with Security, which identifies Safe as my base word for The Resistance. Often times it takes Willpower to take risks in life, which identifies Risk as my base word for The Enlightened.


Let’s compare the text of the choice with our identified base words


The Resistance seek to battle the forces that are attempting to use Exotic Matter to enslave humanity.

Being that it’s humans making the choice, enslavement of humanity compromises our safety. Those that wish to maintain this a state of feeling Safe want to resist this change.


The Enlightened seek to harness the power of Exotic Matter to evolve mankind to a higher level.

Evolution of mankind has very high appeal, though via perceived unnatural means has a high risk. Those that have great willpower often take more Risks for the opportunity of higher gain.


Left vs Right Brained


Here we take a look at a list of words representing left vs right brained individuals.

Left Right
uses logic uses feeling
detail oriented “big picture” oriented
facts rule imagination rules
words and language symbols and images
present and past present and future
math and science spatial perception
order/pattern perception presents possibilities
practical impetuous
safe risk taking

Not only do we see “safe” and “risk taking” in this list, but also notice how accurate those descriptions represent each faction. As a majority I’d argue that the side Left accurately describes a Resistance minded person, where the Right accurately describes an Enlightened minded person. Of course there are variations and mixes between the two and you’re certainly not just one or the other.


How does that (color) make you feel?

Below are definitions on the Color psychology of Green and Blue.

Green is very calming, balancing, healing, relaxing, and tranquil. It represents growth, vitality, abundance, and nature. Green stimulates possibility and is very inspiring.

Blue is calming, healing, soothing, and relaxing. Blue characterizes dependability, trustworthiness, and security. It increases creativity, contemplation, and spirituality.


Often times we’ll hear people simply say, “I chose my faction because my favorite color is…” Even if perceived as simple color favoritism, subconsciously it is much deeper than that. Again we see parallels with growth (evolution/risk) and security (hope/safety).


Is the word “resistance” too popular?

User MalachiDraven from that Reddit post I mentioned made a very interesting comment:

“All of our books, movies, and TV shows depict the good guys being called the ‘Resistance’ more often than not.”

“‘Enlightened’ is also the English translation of Illuminati, which are considered to be secret evil people.”


This just adds to the pile of psychological reasons behind the choice. You and I both know that based on Ingress lore, the perspective of good and evil is relative. This however doesn’t change the perspective of someone with zero background into the lore, and likely gives The Resistance a slight boost in numbers.

Sure, that might just be an opinion.. But check this out. In the beta days of Ingress, we were presented with The Resistance being listed first, and The Enlightened being listed second.


I’m not exactly sure of the when, but at some point the choices were swapped! Could this truly be because of the word “Resistance” and how we as humans relate to it? Another thing MalachiDraven mentions is: “…more people like blue than green.” It turns out that that statement is 100% correct, backed up by tons marketing research.

From scanner version 1.80


What about the logos?

The most interesting thing MalachiDraven said in his Reddit reply was: “Personally, I chose Enlightened solely because of their logo.” Lets strip away the colors of the faction logos and examine the dominant shapes.

Alt logos, I know… But the dominant shapes persist between both versions.

Now that we’ve pointed out the dominant shapes in the logos, I’d like to borrow some psychology factors from this design site to help explain how our mind might perceive these shapes.

Ellipses: comfort, sensuality, completeness, continuity, perfection and love.

Rectangles: power, balance, reliability, precision, security and logic.

Vertical Straight Lines: progress, aggression, power and dominance.

Horizontal Straight Lines: continuity, innocence, tranquility, silence, laziness.

Triangles: progress, ambition, science, practicality, balance, professionalism.


While not every factor is a perfect fit, you have to admit that some are stunningly accurate and parallel some of the other ideas explored in this article.



Consider all the material we just covered, and let’s revisit the statement, “I chose my faction because my favorite color is…” For those that give this reason, do you still believe your conscious mind made that choice? Was it really that simple?

A study was done at the Max Planck Institute revealing that the choices we make are made for us ~7 seconds before we even aware of the decision. The co-author of this study, John-Dylan Haynes, states: “Your decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done.” 

Even the most powerful supercomputers have trouble simulating even 1 second of brain activity. Imagine what complex thoughts and considerations were made for those that naturally made The Choice. Before even choosing, was our faction already chosen for us because it was pre-determined by our subconscious? Is this some form of “destiny”? Let us know your thoughts, interpretations, and ideas in the comments.