Extroverts Prefer Plains, Introverts Like Mountains

There's a very curious link between topography and personality.

Extroverts Prefer Plains, Introverts Like Mountains

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

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

How tiny bioelectronic implants may someday replace pharmaceutical drugs

Scientists are using bioelectronic medicine to treat inflammatory diseases, an approach that capitalizes on the ancient "hardwiring" of the nervous system.

Left: The vagus nerve, the body's longest cranial nerve. Right: Vagus nerve stimulation implant by SetPoint Medical.

Credit: Adobe Stock / SetPoint Medical
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Bioelectronic medicine is an emerging field that focuses on manipulating the nervous system to treat diseases.
  • Clinical studies show that using electronic devices to stimulate the vagus nerve is effective at treating inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Although it's not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, vagus nerve stimulation may also prove effective at treating other diseases like cancer, diabetes and depression.
Keep reading Show less

Smart vultures never, ever cross the Spain-Portugal border. Why?

The first rule of Vulture Club: stay out of Portugal.

The first rule of Vulture Club: stay out of Portugal. (Image: Eneko Arrondo)
Surprising Science

So you're a vulture, riding the thermals that rise up over Iberia. Your way of life is ancient, ruled by needs and instincts that are way older than the human civilization that has overtaken the peninsula below, and the entire planet. 

Keep reading Show less

Best. Science. Fiction. Show. Ever.

"The Expanse" is the best vision I've ever seen of a space-faring future that may be just a few generations away.

Credit: "The Expanse" / Syfy
13-8
  • Want three reasons why that headline is justified? Characters and acting, universe building, and science.
  • For those who don't know, "The Expanse" is a series that's run on SyFy and Amazon Prime set about 200 years in the future in a mostly settled solar system with three waring factions: Earth, Mars, and Belters.
  • No other show I know of manages to use real science so adeptly in the service of its story and its grand universe building.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise changes your brain biology and protects your mental health

Contrary to what some might think, the brain is a very plastic organ.

PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images
Mind & Brain

As with many other physicians, recommending physical activity to patients was just a doctor chore for me – until a few years ago. That was because I myself was not very active.

Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Here's a 10-step plan to save our oceans

By 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the sea.

Quantcast