JavaScript Quiz: is this equal to that?

What’s this REALLY pointing to?

Consider these two arrays:

const arr1 = [1, 2, 3];
const arr2 = [3, 2, 1];

If you did,


You’d get [1, 2, 3]

But if you did

console.log(arr1 === arr2.sort());

You’d get false back. Same if you didn’t do a strict (==) comparison.

Here’s why Britney…

While outputting arr1 and arr2.sort() both print out the same thing ([1, 2, 3]), they actually refer to different positions in memory. And that’s really what the equality operators do. They answer: are these two objects pointing to the same position in memory?

Another way to test this would be by doing this:

console.log(arr2 === arr2.sort());

This would evaluate to true. Because while arr2 and arr2.sort() would print out different things, their relative position in memory is the same thing.

Unfortunately, , JavaScript lacks an easy way to get the unique identifier for a position in memory for a given variable. But using some of the methods outlined here you can infer what’s going on under the hood.

Thanks for reading!

And remember: grit > talent.

Always learning.