Tempermental or Uninhibited? Welcome to Massachusetts!

Friendly barbecue in action. Image via Getty.

Friendly barbecue in action.
Image via Getty.

According to recent research, there are only three kinds of people in the United States. A study of more than one million participants over the course of thirteen years found a “temperamental and uninhibited” nature native to the Northeast, a “relaxed and creative” nature native to the West Coast and a “friendly and conventional” nature native to the Southeast and middle of the country.

While these labels reinforce stereotypes like Midwesterners being friendlier than East Coasters, things got interesting when an interactive self-test went viral, allowing users to find what state they belong in according to ten personality traits.

The study characterizes people based on traditional personality measures such as openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The original study subjects were asked to rank themselves in these characteristic categories through a series of 44 statements with strongly agree to strongly disagree scales.

One can only assume this is representative of families in the northeast. Image via Getty.

One can only assume this is representative of families in the northeast.
Image via Getty.

Though we Eagles come from all over, we congregate here in Massachusetts, ranked the third most neurotic state after West Virginia and Maine. Massachusetts and the rest of the northeastern states have been lumped together to form the “temperamental and uninhibited” region. Residents who are “low in extraversion, [and] very low in agreeableness and conscientiousness” populate this part of the country.

The study characterized Massachusetts residents as more politically liberal, less religious and more often college-educated than those native to other states. They are also generally less friendly and more aloof, which might be where the infamous “BC Lookaway” comes from.

Of the BC students surveyed who have taken the short online quiz, none was given the state he or she was actually born in. On an even more surprising note, no one was told they belonged in Massachusetts, the state they chose to call their home for at least four years.

Looks friendly. Image via Zscout370/Wikimedia Commons.

Looks friendly.
Image via Zscout370/Wikimedia Commons.

Oddly enough, the most popular state amongst Eagles’ results was Georgia, a state in the “friendly and conventional” region, where residents rank very highly for agreeableness and extroversion and very low for the neuroticism that characterizes northeasterners. The second most common answer was Oklahoma, which is also in the “friendly and conventional” region.

If the study is correct, BC students must be friendlier overall than the stereotypical cold New Englander. Take the test to find out where you would best fit in!

Featured image via cityyear/Flickr.

Tina Fey wannabe. Occasional Bostonian. MBTA Superfan.