The Census Bureau’s participation map made quite a splash last week. More than half of Americans (56 percent) had completed their forms by April 5, but there was tremendous variation across the 50 states. Wisconsin topped the list with 69 percent of Wisconsinites sending in their forms. Midwestern states did well across the board with more than two-thirds of Iowans and Minnesotans completing theirs. At the opposite end of the spectrum, less than half the residents of Alaska, Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana completed theirs; 50 percent of New Yorkers had filled out their forms and 51 percent of D.C. residents.
Posts Tagged ‘personality types’
Yesterday, we looked at the relationship between drug use and the concentrations of certain kinds of jobs in states. We saw that cocaine is more likely to be used in states where lawyers make up a larger share of the workforce, while marijuana use is associated with states with higher concentrations of artists, scientists, architects, and educators.
Today, we turn to the relationships between drug use and personality. Psychologists define personality according to the five types – extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness-to-experience. A study by psychologists Jason Rentfrow, Sam Gosling, and Jeff Potter has developed and analyzed data on the state-wide concentration of these five major personality types. Charlotta Mellander and I then worked with Rentfrow to examine the relationship between drug use and the state-wide concentration of personality types. The charts below graph the results.
Basically, drug use was positively and significantly associated with one personality type – openness-to-experience (.33**). It was negatively and significantly associated with three others – agreeableness (-.41**), conscientiousness (-.29*), and extraversion (.-52**).
Rentfrow explains our results this way.
I find it helpful to think about these regional differences as reflecting different psychosocial climates/scenes, and one question we can ask is what underlies these climates/scenes?
Openness, for example, is associated with curiosity and trying new things, so it would make sense that Open regions are places where more people have experimented/used drugs than places low in Openness.
Conscientiousness is associated with order, structure, caution, and obedience, so it would make sense that there would be less experimenting with drugs in places where there are large numbers of conscientious people.
Low levels of agreeableness are associated with aggression and antisocial behavior, so it’s conceivable that places with large numbers of disagreeable people will also be places with comparatively high drug use.
The one dimension that is inconsistent with what I would expect is Extraversion. Hans Eysenck proposed that extraversion is driven by arousal. Whereas introverts have higher levels of internal arousal, which motivates them to avoid social contact because it generates more arousal, extraverts are low in internal arousal and seek out stimulating activities to increase their level of arousal (it’s like introverts are anxious and avoid stimulation and extraverts are bored and seek it out). With that in mind, I was expecting to see that stimulants were more commonly used in places where Extraversion is high and that marijuana was used more in places with fewer extraverts. That’s not what we’ve found, though.
Correlation coefficient: .38**
Correlation coefficient: .38**
Correlation coefficient: .40**
Correlation coefficient: -.52**
Correlation coefficient: -.41**
Correlation coefficient: -.29*
Note: * indicates statistical significance at the .05 level; ** indicates significance at the .01 level.
MapScroll links to a series of “new and improved” maps of Big Five personality types from the expanded (Canadian) edition of my book Who’s Your City?. Based on data collected by Cambridge University psychologist Jason Rentfrow and his collaborators, these new maps ignore state and national boundaries and include the U.S. and Canada.
The first map is agreeable types.
The second is conscientious personalities.
The third is for extroverts who are more likely to move according to Rentfrow and company’s research.
The fourth is for open-to-experience personality types, also more likely to move.
The fifth is for neurotics.