Geography influences how personalities are developed in people. Some personalities are known to be more successful than others. Since localities have a common culture and ideology, some places have more successful personality traits than other localities. However, it also depends on how people perceive themselves and what they define as being successful. There are some key traits that vary geographically. The variability in these personality traits yield different social and individual outcomes.

The five main personality traits-extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience-change the culture in localities all around the United States. There are personality divides among states lines, as well as physical features in the landscape. There are many things to consider when looking at personality differences in the United States.

Americans tend to make stereotypes and create perceptions about people in certain regions in the United States. They have preconceived notions about how others will behave based on the state that they are from. When tests were conducted, it was found that Americans do have certain characteristics when they are from certain localities. However, they do not have just one personality trait present, they have multiple because certain personality traits go hand in hand.

For example, a Cambridge Study was conducted involving 619,397 Americans who represented education levels, income classes, and other measures in the United States. It was “the most extensive study yet of how personality varies across the United States, a “neuroticism belt” divides the East and West, with states from Maine to Louisiana scoring highest and the West lowest.

There is also a geographic divide in openness, with the Northeast and West Coast much higher than the Midwest and South. Extroversion is highest in the Great Plains, Midwest and Southeast, and lowest in the Northwest and Northeast.” In addition, the most agreeable people are found in the Midwest and Southeast. However, on average, agreeable people are not found in the Northeast. Also, conscientious people are found in the South and Midwest; conscientious people are not found in the Northeast.

When considering personality traits, you can be more specific and consider personality traits among certain states. For example, Alaskans rank last in agreeableness and conscientiousness. North Dakotans rank highest on extraversion and agreeableness, but last in openness. Finally, Utahns rank last for neuroticism. All of this data from surveys points to the fact that people do have different personalities in different geographies.

In addition to the United States, geography has influenced people’s personalities all around the world. Each country has stereotypes put on it by other countries. In addition, each citizen has perceptions about people in the place they live. However, for the most part, people are wrong when it comes to knowing what the most prevalent personality traits are in their country.

According to a BBC Article, “average differences in personality between nations are not the same as the stereotypes we hold. Although we tend to agree with each other about what the typical personality type is in a given country, including our own, the research suggests that our assumptions are often wide of the mark.” In other words, people have misconceptions, but this could be a reflection of the test since there are only five main personality traits represented.

For example, people who take the survey and score higher, on average, for extroversion tend to also score higher in average levels of self-esteem. This shows that personality traits can mean different things to different groups of people. Residents may feel that a trait is favorable, while others may feel that a trait is unfavorable. Also, this may be the case as people consider what being successful means.

Overall, personalities are developed through geography and some personalities that develop in localities are known to be more successful than others.

CC BY-SA 4.0 How Geography Affects Personalities by Erica is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Colin 10 months ago

    Erica,
    I always did think people from various regions acted alike and I was very intrigued. I enjoy travel and saw how people interacted in California to Wisconsin all the way to Florida and I saw each region had their own distinct personality. I think geography plays a huge role of who you are because each region values something different that another one might not. I think it is very interesting to look at factors outside family to see what contributes to who we are. I found an article that might help you continue your research. Good Job
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/look-it-way/200906/is-who-you-arewhere-you-live

  2. Isa 10 months ago

    Erica,
    I have never thought about personalities varying based on region. I found your piece refreshing because it was such a different concept that you presented, and very different from most. I always thought personality traits mainly revolved around how you grow up with your family and what you see your parents doing. I found an article that might help you go a little deeper into your research.
    http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/10/regions-personalities.aspx
    Good job, I hope to see more of your writing!
    Isa

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