Cambridge University scientists have mapped people of the British Isles on these aspects of their personality:
The most northern Scotts and people from Somerset are the most agreeable, with Londoners being the least (no surprise here!).
People in the south and topmost Scotland are the most conscientious (which includes such things as going to the doctor regularly), with Wales, the mid-east coast of Scotland, and Londoners being the worst.
Wales and Lincolnshire don’t do well on extraversion, and the London area is tops in this–no surprise about the big city drawing in the extraverts.
Neuroticism, which is defined as being nervous, anxious, and depressed, is more prominent in Wales and the opposite coast, with the topmost Scots and those in London and the southwest being the least. Geographically speaking, I don’t understand, as the highlands of Scotland are deeply rural, and London excessively urban, unless it’s that people who love solitude get what they want in Scotland, and those who love crowds and noise and excitement get what they want in London, which makes them happy and less prone to neuroticism.
As for my own family, which is in the middle of England, their relative scores on agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and neuroticism are all nicely in the middle, though personally I can’t think of a more agreeable lot of people.
* headline first used in an article by Ian Sample in the Guardian.
I saw this, l and was puzzled by the Northern Scots. But it’s all self-assessment, so I guess it’s more how people see themselves (or want to see themselves?) rather than how they really are.
Virginia A Smith said:
Hi, yes, I was, too, but then there’s self-selection going on, too, in that the people who remain up there are probably pretty happy living up there. Without much industry, or people, it would be far easier to move to a town or city. I don’t know how the study was done, but there’s got to be an overlap between how people see themselves and how they really are. I have a Scottish cousin who grew up by the side of a loch with only his brother and parents nearby (his father worked as a gardener on “Laird David’s” 12th century castle). He now lives in Glasgow for the work, but he’s happiest on the island of Lewes, which is very similar to where he grew up. He’s also extremely agreeable, conscientious, not extraverted, and non-neurotic. Just one “data point,” but it all fits! Thanks for writing.