“Newsweek” has an article on the relationship between certain personality traits and geographical location:
About 20 years ago scientists established that combinations of five basic dimensions—extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to new ideas and experiences—account for all personalities. Add a pinch of openness, a dollop of agreeableness and, like Grandma’s secret recipe for pasta sauce, the result is unique. . . .
Since personality is so important to both social and individual outcomes, the hunt is on for which traits vary geographically and why. According to 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, find Jason Rentfrow of Cambridge University and colleagues. There is also a geographic divide in openness (a measure of willingness to embrace new ideas and creativity), with the Northeast and West Coast much higher than the Midwest and South, according to the data from 619,397 people who filled out an online personality survey and were representative of the U.S. population in education, income and other measures. Extroversion is highest in the Great Plains, Midwest and Southeast, and lowest in the Northwest and Northeast, the scientists will report next month in Perspectives on Psychological Science. For agreeable people, go to the Midwest and Southeast, and avoid the Northeast. For conscientiousness, head for the South and Midwest, not the Northeast. At a finer scale, Alaskans may be amused (or not) that they rank dead last in agreeableness and conscientiousness, while North Dakotans rank highest on extroversion and agreeableness but last in openness. The good folks of Utah are the least neurotic.
Is this just regional stereotyping, or is there something to it?