America is often painted as divided — be it by politics, economics, or word pronunciation.
But according to a new study from researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Helsinki, America may also be split up by three different psychological profiles.
The paper, which was recently published the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, looked at 1.5 million responses gathered from five different online surveys and assessed respondents across five key personality traits: Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
They then clustered the traits together to see which areas have the highest — and lowest — populations with these traits.
Three distinct regions emerged: the “Friendly and Conventional” states in the Midwest and South, “Related and Creative” states mainly on the West Coast, and the “Temperamental and uninhibited” states on the East Coast and in Texas.
Check out where your state falls below and see a more in-depth analysis of your region in the paper “Divided We Stand: Three Psychological Regions of the United States and Their Political, Economic, Social and Health Correlates.”
The Friendly & Conventional Region (Blue):“The region is defined by moderately high levels of Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, moderately low Neuroticism, and very low Openness. This configuration of traits portrays the
sort of person who is sociable, considerate, dutiful, and traditional, qualities that are also reflected in the patterns of correlations with the PESH indicators. This region comprises predominantly White residents with comparatively low levels of education, wealth, economic innovation, and social tolerance.”
The Relaxed & Creative Region (Green):“Comprises predominantly states along the West Coast, Rocky Mountains, and Sunbelt. According to the U.S. Census, states in this region are among the most popular destinations for people with college degrees and for non-Whites. The psychological profile of this region is
marked by low Extraversion and Agreeableness, very low Neuroticism, and very high Openness. There are disproportionate numbers of non-White residents in this region, in addition to people who are wealthy, educated, and economically innovative.”
The Temperamental & Uninhibited Region (Orange):“Comprises states predominantly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This region is made up of the quintessential Blue states. The psychological profile of the region is
defined by low Extraversion, very low Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, very high Neuroticism, and moderately high Openness. This particular configuration of traits depicts the type of person who is reserved, aloof, impulsive, irritable, and inquisitive.”
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