UT Study Reveals Personality Types by Region

Study shows personality based on region


Texans are more open than Oklahomans; Oklahomans are a bit more neurotic than Texans. Any resident of the Lone Star State probably could’ve told you that, but now we’ve got the proof.

In a new study, University of Cambridge psychology professor Peter J. Rentfrow and UT psychology professor Sam Gosling collected personality test research from 1.5 million Americans to evaluate the continental U.S. on five major personality spectra: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

After ranking the categories, the researchers uncovered three major regions of homogenous personality types—a finding that Gosling says he wasn’t expecting.

“We didn’t know if we would be able to identify personality-based differences and how many there would be,” Gosling says. “There ended up being three clusters, but there could have 10. Or they might not have been geographically clustered.”

As might be expected in the land of tech start-ups and surfing, the West Coast earned the “Relaxed and Creative” title. Those hot and bothered Yankee states make up the “Temperamental and Uninhibited” category, and the Midwest and South comprise the most “Friendly and Conventional” states.

Texas didn’t follow suit. With rankings like the 23rd most open state, 16th most extroverted, and 23rd most agreeable—numbers more on par with the Northeast region—the Lone Star State was named a Temperamental and Uninhibited state.

The research went viral online earlier this week, thanks to write-ups in publications like TIME. The public’s reaction was a pleasant surprise to Gosling.

“I find it interesting that so many people find this interesting,” Gosling says. “People know people from different places are different, but they didn’t have a way to measure it. It’s amazing how much this has struck a chord with the public.”

To take a shortened version of the test and to see where you belong on the map, click here.

Photo courtesy American Psychological Association


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