14.9.08

Minnesota's "personality"

Apart from the Twin Cities, the only places I've ever lived have been on the East coast. And according to this recent British psychological study, the "personalities" of Minnesota and states along the Boston-DC corridor are very different. According to this study, East Coast-types are more stressed, neurotic, and unfriendly. Minnesotans, on the other hand, are "extraverted" (#5), "agreeable" (#2), but not very "neurotic" (#41) or "open" (#40).

The one that might surprise you is "extraversion". According to the study, that means that people:

tend to seek out socially stimulating environments, whereas people high in N [lack of extraversion] tend to avoid highly stimulating environments.

I wonder if they're talking about the State Fair?

Garrison Keillor aside, I think that regional difference has less to do with ethnicity and far more to do with the economy, levels of regional in- and out-migration, and patterns of urban form. And in my opinion, the Twin Cities has a pretty unique culture simply because of its distance from other large metro areas. Much like Denver, Colorado, we're a long way from anywhere else.



[Chart from Renfrow, P. et. al., A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics. Perspectives on Psychological Science Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 339 - 369. -- Click to em-biggen.]


Of course, my octogenarian uncle is convinced that weather causes dramatic differences in behavior, and that long winters discourage violent behavior, creating peaceful societies and social democracy. I keep telling him about ragnarök.

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