The United States of Attitude – Which State Matches Your Personality?16

Posted by Deirdre // 11-07-2013


This is totally ICMYI, because it’s from 10 days ago or so. I have a “stack” (digitally, of course) of things I’ve been meaning to post but was actually busy doing some paid work (yay!). I’ll try to get a bunch of it out, in case you rely solely on this blog for all of your relevant internet content.

This find from Time Magazine was fun and cool but I would not want to choose a place to live based on my current attitude. A friend of mine from high school who is now a hard core Yogi-Buddist-off-the-grid kind of guy, posted something on Facebook the other day (okay, I guess he’s not completely off the grid) about some sort of cosmic alignment that will cause major upheaval in our states of mind, and not in a good way. I hope I can attribute my total crap mood of the past few days to the stars.

I guess I'm naturally creative and relaxed, aka awesome

I guess I’m naturally creative and relaxed, aka awesome

That said, this “mood map” of the U.S., which has a neat little test you can take to find out where you belong based on the type of person you are. Now, it doesn’t account for honesty, and I did find it hard to answer based on reality versus who I want to be. But I took the test a few days ago (in a relatively good mood) and I guess the person I want to be belongs in California!

There’s something romantic about seeing “You belong in California,” though I did live in California for a nanosecond when I was 29 and single, and found it super provincial and annoying, albeit gorgeous and relaxing. Who knows if now that I’m married with kids and have dealt with the super annoyingness of Park Slope for 7 years I would consider it fine, not that we can really afford it and we’re not really going to move there anyway – too frigging far. The funny thing is that I took the test again today and it said “You belong in New Jersey.” This is decidedly less romantic. I know, I know, I won’t slam Jersey – one of my best friends is from Jersey! – but I don’t think of it as a destination in terms of where awesome happens. Point is, the test is a little subjective.

But there are fun things to look at when you get into the state level – if tens of thousands of people are answering the questions then the numbers are bound to be more realistic, and actually the study looked at 1.6 million people over the course of 13 years answering questions from a much bigger personality assessment.

Some shockers? Vermont is the least extroverted and West Virginia is the most neurotic. Also, in terms of California and the West in general, this was really interesting:

There is no shortage of historical and geographical explanations for why the regions break down the way they do, but migration is the biggest piece of the puzzle. Pioneers who moved West were, by definition, people with open, curious, flexible temperaments, traits that become part of the settled regions’ DNA and were passed down through the generations. The researchers found a creative way to confirm this theory, comparing the date the 48 surveyed states became part of the union with their relaxed and creative profile. The result: the later a state joined, the higher its score turned out to be. That very openness and wanderlust stays with the native-born residents of these regions, often impelling them to keep right on moving.

I really loved the author’s summation of it all — “We’re less a nation of warring tribes and angry camps than we are a loud, boisterous, messy mix of geography, social history and the unpredictable X factors of human personality…” And what makes New York City what it is, and why it’s so hard to leave in a way, yes?