Are Geography and Personality Related

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between the place you’re living in and your personality? According to recent findings in the field of geographical psychology, there might be more to it than just pure coincidence. As it turns out, people that live in mountainous areas are more likely to be introverted, while extroverted people prefer the opposite. 

Geographical Psychology

Geographical psychology is a branch of psychology that seeks to find connections between geographic location and various psychological phenomena, such as why personality traits or behaviors vary from one place to another – or tend to congregate in particular areas. 

Naturally, every place is populated by psychologically diverse people. However, some general differences between the residents in different locations can be informative. For instance, certain traits can be more prevalent in certain areas than others.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

A study conducted by a group of psychologists at the University of Virginia included five experiments that aimed to establish a connection between geography and personality. In finding the correlation with geographical characteristics, the study focused on two personality traits: extroversion and introversion. 

The results showed that individuals that reside in mountainous areas were more likely to be introverted in comparison to participants that lived in flatter areas. A different study, in which participants were presented with a series of pictures of different places, found that extroverts prefer coastal areas to the mountains. Their choices, however, were not related to other personality traits, such as agreeableness or openness. 

Extraversion vs. Introversion

Individuals that rank high in extroversion trait are typically described as outgoing, and sociable, which means they are likely to gravitate toward places that offer more recreational activities and opportunities for social interaction. Beaches, for example, are likely to attract extroverts because they are usually noisier and offer an opportunity to hang out with different people and play various sports. 

On the other hand, individuals that are at the lower end of the extraversion spectrum – introverts – are typically described as more withdrawn, meaning they don’t require a lot of external stimuli. That’s why introverts are more likely to prefer mountainous areas, which offer secludedness that facilitates isolation. 

Therefore, geography can reveal some similarities among people living in certain areas. However, these correlations should be understood more as generalizations that do not present the overall psychological picture of a place.

[1] “Beach or Mountains? What Your Preference Reveals about You.” TODAY [Online] Available at: [Accessed on: 12 May 2020]

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