If each U.S. state were a high school clique, Californians would be the “cool kids.” And now there’s scientific evidence to support that stereotype. Unsurprisingly, it’s thanks in large part to the beautiful weather.
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According to a new study recently published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, people who grew up in milder climates (like Cali) are likely to be more social and emotionally even-keeled than those who were raised in more extreme weather conditions.
The study followed a whopping 1.6 million people residing in different climates throughout China and the United States. It discovered a direct correlation between the type of climate people grow up in and their overall personality. Pretty fascinating, right?
“Clement (i.e., mild) temperatures encourage individuals to explore the outside environment, where both social interactions and new experiences abound; by contrast, when the ambient temperature is either too hot or too cold, individuals are less likely to go outside (for example, to meet up with friends or to try new activities),” researchers wrote in the study.
As Inverse explains, the temperature at which all us human beings are most comfortable is 71.7 degrees Fahrenheit. In the places around the world where the ambient temperature is right around that, people tend to have higher scores on the “Big Five” personality traits — agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion and openness to experience.
They’re also likely to score higher when it comes to their “socialization factor” and “personal growth factor.” Basically, they’re even-tempered, friendly, outgoing and just plain fun to hang out with.
The study also points out an interesting connection to global warming: “As climate change continues across the world, we may also observe concomitant changes in human personality,” study authors wrote.
That could mean that if the climate becomes warmer and more tolerable in colder parts of the country like Minnesota, they might become the new cool kids on the block. On the other hand, if temperatures get unbearably hot in SoCal, Californians could lose their cool (both figuratively and literally).
Obviously, your fate isn’t solely determined by your hometown’s climate. Whether it’s 99 degrees in the shade or subzero in the sun, get off your butt, get out and socialize no matter what. It’s good for you!
What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised that people who live in milder climates have better personalities? What type of climate do you live in? What would be the optimal climate for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!