People who live in mountainous U.S. states are more introverted than their fellow Americans in the flatter states. That curious link between topography and personality is proposed by a recent article in the Journal of Research in Personality

The article, titled “Personality and Geography: Introverts Prefer Mountains,” contains a fascinating graph, linking elevation difference to large-scale personality data from all 50 states and D.C.

States on the left of the graph are flatter than states on the right; states at the bottom have relatively more introverts than states at the top of the graph. Alaska, by far the most mountainous state, is among the most introverted — only preceded by Maryland and New Hampshire (which are, however, much less incidented). North Dakota, America's most extroverted state, is also one of its flatter ones. Extroversion runners-up Wisconsin and D.C. are almost pancake-flat too.

The graph does not explain whether people become introverted in a mountain state, or flat-state introverts have a tendency to head for the hilly parts of the country. The old nature versus nurture debate, in other words. But in a very strange context.

Full article here in the Journal of Research in Personality. Many thanks to Mark Feldman, who saw it mentioned here on The Washington Post's Wonkblog.

 

Strange Maps #732

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