Regional personality

Oct 21, 2013

Peter J. Rentfrow, et al. studied personality clusters across states using data from five surveys, totaling responses from about 1.6 million people. They recently published their results in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology [pdf].

There is overwhelming evidence for regional variation across the United States on a range of key political, economic, social, and health indicators. However, a substantial body of research suggests that activities in each of these domains are typically influenced by psychological variables, raising the possibility that psychological forces might be the mediating or causal factors responsible for regional variation in key indicators.

They found three main clusters, mapped above: friendly and conventional, relaxed and creative, and temperamental and uninhibited.

The maps suggest that states belong only to specific clusters, but I suspect it’s a more continuous scale. For instance, a state might be partially part of cluster 1 and 2, not really 3, as opposed to just cluster 1. Still though, it’s an interesting start. Now if only the data they used were more easily accessible.

Favorites

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.