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Opening Arguments

Send in the shrinks

So, human personalities are classified along five key dimensions -- agreeableness, conscientiousness, extrovertism, neuroticism and openness to experience. And it turns out there are geographic clusters of these traits in the United States:

Interestingly, America's psychogeography lines up reasonably well with its economic geography. Greater Chicago is a center for extroverts and also a leading center for sales professionals. The Midwest, long a center for the manufacturing industry, has a prevalence of conscientious types who work well in a structured, rule-driven environment. The South, and particularly the I-75 corridor, where so much Japanese and German car manufacturing is located, is dominated by agreeable and conscientious types who are both dutiful and work well in teams.

The Northeast corridor, including Greater Boston, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Austin, are home to concentrations of open-to-experience types who are drawn to creative endeavor, innovation, and entrepreneurial start-up companies.

I checked out Indiana for all five traits. (Click on the related "personality maps" graphic.) Maybe you won't be surprised that we scored zero on the "open to experience" trait, but, surprisingly to me, we also got zip on the "agreeableness" trait. The "extrovertism" trait creept into northwest Indiana from Chicago but didn't make it as far as our corner of the state. All of Indiana did pretty well on "conscientiousness," but the one trait that seems most prevalent here is "neuroticism." Oh, yeah.


Posted in: Hoosier lore


Bob G.
Mon, 05/19/2008 - 11:37am

When I moved here from the East coast, I brought my "agreeableness" and "open to experience" WITH me...but over the years (and the accumulated knowledge and wosdom that came with that), I managed to lockthem both away in a very safe place.

I DID mange to cop a nice deal on that "neuroticism" you spoke of...at (of all places) Family Dollar!

Who'da thunk?