Different Regions, Different Personalities
Personalities by Region
Americans with similar temperaments are likely to live in the same areas; therefore, it is easy to create a map of the country, divided into regions with distinct personalities.
A study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, revealed each region and their personality traits.1 People from the north-central Great Plains and the South tend to be conventional and friendly folk.1 Those living on the Western and Eastern seaboards tent to be more relaxed and creative, while New Englanders and Mid-Atlantic residents are more temperamental and uninhibited.1
University of Cambridge’s Peter Rentfrow, Ph.D., stated that the division of the country went against the challenges of standard methods, such as economic factors, voting patterns, cultural stereotypes, and geography.1 Instead, researchers analyzed the personality traits of more than 1.5 million people who participated in website personality tests.1 Data was collected over 12 years from the 48 contiguous states.1 Results ended up reinforcing some of the traditional beliefs about different parts of the country and the people living there.1
The study determined the economic, social, and health factors by examining data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, state board of elections offices, and the Association of Religion Data Archives.1 Pulling all of the data together, the researchers were able to identify three psychological profiles based on five broad dimensions of personality: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.1
How Do the Personalities Break Down?
They found that people who lived in friendly and conventional regions were likely to be less affluent, less educated, more politically conservative, and less healthy.1 The relaxed and creative states were found to be more culturally and ethnically diverse, more liberal, wealthier, more educated, and quite healthy.1 Folks living in the temperamental and uninhibited region were mostly older adults who were wealthy and politically liberal.1
Furthermore, researchers found that agreeableness is a trait often seen in people who stay in their hometowns, and friendly and conventional people usually have lived in the same state for a year or more.1 The relaxed and creative region seem to be influenced by a frontier mentality seen in many young people, professionals, and immigrants moving to the region for educational and employment opportunities.1 Within the temperamental and uninhibited region, many have moved away, looking for parts of the country that are more open and conscientious.1 As the temperamental and uninhibited profile includes high neuroticism, social influence may facilitate the spread of high anxiety and irritability, causing many to move away.1
Overall, the study proved some interesting findings regarding region and personality.
 Wood, J. (2013). Different U.S. Regions Show Distinct Personalities. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/10/18/different-u-s-regions-show-distinct-personalities/60859.html