Forget “you are what you eat”; According to a new survey, you are where you live. Truity, a personality and career assessment site, polled 12,000 individuals from all 50 states plus D.C. to see how respondents’ home states corresponded with key aspects of personality such as engaging with the world, getting along with others, and responding to stress.
The most introverted state was Vermont (those cold winters probably aren’t doing anyone any favors when it comes to socializing with the neighbors)…
And Nevada ranked highest for most extroverted (it remains to be determined whether late night antics in Sin City contribute to the anything goes demeanor of the state’s denizens). (Image: Courtesy of Truity.com)
Montanans apparently cooperate best with others (all hands on deck needed at the ranch, perhaps?) (Image: Courtesy of Truity.com)
Illinois topped the list for most competitive (as anyone who is at all familiar with Chicago politics and / or The Good Wife already knows). (Image: Courtesy of Truity.com)
According to a representative from Truity, participants were given the company’s The Big Five Personality Test, and the data was then analyzed for trends across states, which were clustered using statistical methods to find relatively homogenous groups. (One big surprise was how not homogenous the Midwest turned out to be: Some states played right into the “hardworking Midwestern” stereotype, the Truity representative notes, while “other were actually more similar to coastal states.”)
But is there a reason why California, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma (who knew?!) are among the states that tend to be filled with the most-open minded individuals with an interest in the arts — while Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (interestingly, all political swing states) tend to have keenly critical minds?
Says Art Markman, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Texas, “Personality can change a bit over the lifespan, so, being around people who change your habits will have some influence on your personality.”
But more than that, Markman notes, is that “people tend to seek out environments that are compatible with ‘who they are’ in a deeper way,” noting for example, “If you are not that extroverted and risk-seeking, then you are just not going to choose to move to Vegas if you have any control over it.”