May 8th, 2008
|03:58 pm - Personality maps|
Here are some maps showing distribution of the 'big five' personality traits geographically across the US. Alas, no info available for other countries, though it was done by British researchers :-(
The 'big five' are five statistical clustering functions, arising from answers to personality tests, which are orthogonal (that is, vary independently of one another, so you can not reduce one to another). Wikipedia overview here. Some overlap with MBTI.
The five factors are:
- Extroversion. Sometimes linked to sensitivity to positive emotions, and hence positive reinforcement of activities. I am slightly above average on this measure.
- Neuroticism. Sensitivity to negative emotions, including anger and gloom. I am also fairly high on this.
- Agreeableness. Compassion, co-operation, interest in others etc. Pretty high on this.
- Conscientiousness. This is like MBTI 'J' function. Planning, methodical, carefulness etc. I am low on this.
- Openness to experience. This is the liberal/intellectual/inquisitive/artistic dimension. I am not utterly convinced this is real trait, but I get a high score for it.
I'd be so interested to see European or UK regional distributions.
BTW I hate to sound conscientious, but haven't they misspelled 'concientious'?
So New York is neurotic and California is a big old freak? Lolz.
Yes - who'd have thought it? the researchers say 'people move to places which match their personality' but I would think it's more to do with the - I don't quite mean culture - the feel of a place influences how people act
I think that's true. There are parts of NZ where you can almost see the dark cloud of depression.
See my comment below. The researcher may well be right.
There seem to be a lot of states where no one has any personality at all.
or they are extremely well balanced
Huh. I'd have expected California to be very extroverted, and probably Texas.
Yeah. But then they are all extrovert in comparison to this country.
And compared to NZ, so it's not self-selecting courageous pioneers. I wonder what it is.
Probably the difference in ninja crime levels.
I dunno. Ours are pretty high.
Well there you go. America's criminal ninjas are stone cold sober.
They take themselves (and others for that matter) so seriously.
Two comments. First: Hah! My region has no personality and neither do I (I took the online test a week or so ago and came out low on all the scores.)
Second: this is a fascinating corroboration of what Bill Bishop posits in The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart
. I haven't read the book yet, but I heard the author interviewed yesterday morning on local radio, and he pointed out that Portland has become very notably self-sorted in the last 30 years--it was one of the cities (along with San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle) whose radically changed population prompted him to begin the inquiries that led to the book.
(I think that purple, open-to-experience cloud probably runs up the west coast to Portland and Seattle, actually.)
Bishop sees this self-sorting as a socio-political problem (as the book's subtitle makes pretty clear) but frankly, it's very nice to live among the like-minded.
Perhaps easier travel allows people to quickly move to a place where they feel comfy. Also, do you think online communities perform the same function - keeping us with the people we like and who are like us? On the other hand I like being able to mix with people who are a bit like me. I'd rather do that than have a row with a right wing misogynist every day.
Yes, I think online communities are even more self-sorting than geographical communities. Not only are they easier to get to, but they're easier to find. Cities don't have tag clouds--at least, not obvious ones.
I think easier travel certainly gives us the chance to go where we fit in better, but I think the migratory tendency is more common in young, flexible, educated, non-rooted, less-conservative people. Cities like mine are filled with transplants and newcomers, so perhaps the places better known for their conservative ways are filled with those who stayed home.
I get to row with a right-winger tomorrow at a family wedding. Poor brother-in-law--the only conservative for MILES.
Oh, yes, I remember you said. I hope that goes OK and you don't get ribbed about the workplace shenanigans.
Thanks. Let's hope it will be all cordiality and joy.