There are many ways of dividing up America: Red state, Blue state, Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Sun Belt, Stroke Belt…the list could go on. We’re defined by our regional economies, voting patterns, stereotypes, geographies, and a lot else besides.
These maps do something different: They look at America in psychological terms. They assess people across five key personality traits–openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism–and show us where the distribution falls.
Led by Jason Rentfrow, at the University of Cambridge, the analysis is based on a total of 1.5 million online surveys conducted in five batches. The researchers then cluster traits together, with the darker colored areas indicating higher correlation. The work is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. [read]