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Does Your Personality Match Your State of Residence & Mind?

Does Your Personality Match Your State of Residence & Mind?

Think you can judge a person by the state they live in? It might not be such a crazy notion according to new research on the geography of personality. Controlling for factors like race, income, and education, the study profiled 600,000 Americans with a 44-question personality test that evaluates five traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness.

Using those results and cross-checking them with stats on crime and health seem to seal the deal on one's state of mind lining up with one's state of residence. High amiability means lower crime, high anxiety points to poor health and lowered life expectancy.

Of course the results spark questions like whether certain states encourage specific personalities by culture, climate, or common history — or whether we just choose to live where we feel most at home. Those questions aside, the results and the interactive maps? Fun times! Very nicely done, Wall Street Journal.

To see some of the most unusual findings,

.

  • North Dakota was pegged the most outgoing state in the union.
  • Despite Puritanical stereotypes, New England ranked at the bottom of the "conscientious" scale.
  • Scoring well on the "openness" scale strongly correlates to liberal social values and Democratic voting habits — however three of the top ten "open" states (Nevada, Colorado and Virginia) tend to swing Red.
  • Most conscientious? Florida. (Maybe there's a tie between living in a coastal paradise and pitying others who don't?)
  • Anxiety isn't just tied to high-powered jobs and a fast lifestyle. States stressed by poverty, like West Virginia and Mississippi also proved highly neurotic.

Where does your state stack up? Is it possible to make generalizations about the personality of an entire state's population? Do you match yours?

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lexichloe lexichloe 7 years
Was that study done by a freshman taking 101 psych? No groundbreaking news...
verily verily 7 years
I guess I fit my state. Texas kinda seems to sit middle of the road on these. I am definitely not like the states I was born in (Florida) or lived for 9 years in (Illinois). They are very high on the extraversion scale and I am not extraverted.
verily verily 7 years
I guess I fit my state. Texas kinda seems to sit middle of the road on these. I am definitely not like the states I was born in (Florida) or lived for 9 years in (Illinois). They are very high on the extraversion scale and I am not extraverted.
356UIK 356UIK 7 years
Yay! I am a Northern Virginia/DC native :)
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
Most conscientious? Florida. (Maybe there's a tie between living in a coastal paradise and pitying others who don't?)This is me!! Cause that's how the pimps do it down in Florida!!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
Most conscientious? Florida. (Maybe there's a tie between living in a coastal paradise and pitying others who don't?) This is me!! Cause that's how the pimps do it down in Florida!!
amybdk amybdk 7 years
yesteryear... back to your old avatar?
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
well i think that it's interesting to see how people characterize New York since the entire state isn't NYC - but i guess some of it's pretty relevant.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 7 years
After living in Oklahoma for a while, I thoroughly disagree with this scale. Anyone without a southern accent is given strange looks when they talk. And my brother in law in formed me that I "talk like a yankee bitch". Sounds agreeable to me. :oy:
sldc sldc 7 years
"Scoring well on the "openness" scale strongly correlates to liberal social values and Democratic voting habits — however three of the top ten "open" states (Nevada, Colorado and Virginia) tend to swing Red."Everyone is open to new ideas that suit them. Think "conservatives" have not changed (economically, culturally, and politically) in the past 50 years? Think again. Think many modern "liberals" are open to ideas about a free market (which does not equal market anarchy) or the illegality of the Federal Reserve Act and many other crazy "classical liberal" ideas? Um, not really. I find most people are very open to change, if the new stimulus fits with their preconceived mindset. Similarly, I find most people resistant to read or research anything that does not fit their packaged mindset. Most people are not all that open-minded, but some would like to so, because it fits their prepackaged identity.I speak from the experience that comes with always being the person with the wild, big ideas, regardless of whether I am speaking to a liberal or a conservative (both are terms that continue to evolve and mean little).
sldc sldc 7 years
"Scoring well on the "openness" scale strongly correlates to liberal social values and Democratic voting habits — however three of the top ten "open" states (Nevada, Colorado and Virginia) tend to swing Red." Everyone is open to new ideas that suit them. Think "conservatives" have not changed (economically, culturally, and politically) in the past 50 years? Think again. Think many modern "liberals" are open to ideas about a free market (which does not equal market anarchy) or the illegality of the Federal Reserve Act and many other crazy "classical liberal" ideas? Um, not really. I find most people are very open to change, if the new stimulus fits with their preconceived mindset. Similarly, I find most people resistant to read or research anything that does not fit their packaged mindset. Most people are not all that open-minded, but some would like to so, because it fits their prepackaged identity. I speak from the experience that comes with always being the person with the wild, big ideas, regardless of whether I am speaking to a liberal or a conservative (both are terms that continue to evolve and mean little).
HeidiMD HeidiMD 7 years
That's an interesting website! I'm from Alaska, but I live in Washington; it's interesting to see the difference.
Miss-Liz Miss-Liz 7 years
Haha DC (where I am from and live currently) has an extraversion of 3 and an openness of 1. Dang. It's odd to me that I've lived up and down the east coast, and the nicest people are from here. Then again maybe it's because I'm a native?
caryatid caryatid 7 years
i was confused why in the world new york would be more agreeable than oklahoma, then saw the scale comment. =) looks right to me!
yesteryear yesteryear 7 years
fun stuff! i'd like to see the original survey though... why is it that newspapers NEVER cite their sources on stuff like this? they are still living in an analog world i guess. links, we want links!
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
I guess*
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
I guess*
Marni7 Marni7 7 years
Well I've lived in 2 countries and 4 states in my 24 years (I swear I am not a gypsy ;) ) but overall I get I am a stressed out East-Coaster..
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