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Personality Traits By State: A Recent Study

Written by Eric Loken

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The Wall Street Journal last week ran an interesting article that summarizes a study that aggregates personality data on a state by state basis. The research is based on a Five Factor approach to studying personality (Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism/Stability, and Openness). Criteria's pre-employment testing solution features a personality inventory, the CPI, that is built on the same theoretical principles – and other employment personality tests that we offer also focus on a subset of these traits. Armed with over 600,000 internet surveys, the researchers showed that on average, respondents from North Dakota were the most agreeable in the country, and those in Alaska – by a huge margin – were the least agreeable. Alaska also ranked near the bottom on the other four personality dimensions too — but we'll have more on that in another blog post. But before we jump to any conclusions, let's stop to consider why small states seem to pop up a lot near the top and bottom of these lists.

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