Scots Are The Friendliest

25 March 2015, 09:14

A study of more than 400,000 Britons has found wide personality difference between regions - with Scots proving the friendliest, Welsh the shyest and Londoners the least welcoming.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge looked at data gathered online about five traits - extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness - to assess the personality of residents in different parts of the country.

Dr Jason Rentfrow, from the university's Department of Psychology, said the findings were more than "a bit of fun'' and could help shape Government decisions.

He added: "Geographical differences are associated with a range of economic, social and health outcomes - and hence how important resources are allocated.

"Although participants in an online test are self-selecting, the demographic characteristics are representative of the British population, so we can develop an accurate snapshot of the psychology of the nation.''

The findings included high levels of extroversion in London and Manchester as well as pockets of the South and South East England, Scotland and Yorkshire.

In contrast, those living in the East Midlands, Wales, Humberside, the North of England and East Scotland tended to be quiet, reserved and introverted.

The most agreeable people were found in Scotland, the North of England, South West and some parts of the East of England, suggesting disproportionate numbers of residents of these areas were friendly, trusting, and kind.

These regions tended to have higher proportions of women, married couples and low-income residents.

The least agreeable were found in London and various districts throughout the East of England, suggesting that comparatively large proportions of residents of these areas were unco-operative, quarrelsome, and irritable.

Other findings included Londoners, the Welsh and those living in some parts of the North of England being the least conscientious - suggesting they were "disorderly, rebellious and indifferent''.

The research found significantly low levels of emotional stability throughout most of Wales and in a number of districts throughout the Midlands.

"Overall, the survey found that regions with large proportions of people scoring low in emotional stability had more residents who were working class and physically unhealthy,'' the report added.

Metropolitan areas like London, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow show greater openness - a trait made up of creativity, curiosity, imagination and intellect.

According to the study, openness was positively related to residents with university education, income, prevalence of high-status professionals, foreign-born residents, same-sex couples and rates of violent crime.

Overall, the results suggested that regions with large numbers of highly open people were cosmopolitan, economically prosperous, and liberal.

The study is based on data that was gathered as part of the Big Personality Test, an online survey published by the BBC in 2009 as part of a collaboration between the BBC and the scientific community.

Members of the public can take the test "Where in Britain would you be happiest?'' at www.bbc.co.uk/happiestplace.

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