By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Science shows that Halloween costumes can say more about your personality than you might think. According to Psychology Today, costumes are a way to explore someone you aren’t or reflect a part of your personality that isn’t obvious.

Whether they’re scary, sexy, funny or historical, experts say Halloween costumes often reflect hidden aspects of your personality.

“It’s about becoming disinhibited, playing with different elements of our personality, maybe some that exist outwardly, but probably ones we don’t get to play with an awful lot,” psychologist Dr. Scott Bea said.

In addition to revealing personality types, psychologists say costume choices may also say something about how people manage impulses or what they’re insecure about.

People who choose scary might be more aggressive, controlling and daring. With the sexy nurse-type outfit, therapists say strong, independent women sometimes pick subservient Halloween costumes — the opposite of their real lives. People with a sense of humor tend to gravitate toward silly, whimsical outfits. Those who like to dress up as rock stars, athletes and actors are channeling someone else’s personality and showing some inner-fantasy life.

Whatever the Halloween costume is, taking on a character allows people to hide or be anonymous and take more risks.

“Because of the disinhibition that we feel when we’re in costume, we’re a little freer in our socialization,” Bea said. “And that’s what’s fun about Halloween parties – we have built-in things to talk about, just based on our costuming, and how we’re presenting ourselves. It makes it easy for people to be together.”

Google analyzed search data to come up with the most popular Halloween costumes. Pennywise, the frightening killer clown from “It,” was number one, followed by witches and Spiderman.

Stephanie Stahl