MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two large studies conducted in the United States and China suggest that the temperature of the regional environment plays a role in shaping one’s personality.
The results of the studies, which were published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior, found that people across the two large, culturally diverse nations were generally more agreeable, emotionally stable and open to new experiences when they grew up in regions with ambient temperatures close to 72 degrees – the physiological comfort optimum.
The authors of the study say that the findings support that theory that those in areas closer to the comfort optimum are more encouraged to explore their outside environment, which thereby makes them more outgoing and willing to try new things.
Together, the two studies looked at more than 1.5 million people in thousands of cities across China and the U.S. The authors noted that the effects of ambient temperature appeared to have more of an effect on Chinese populations than American ones.
In the Twin Cities, the average year-round temperature is about 45 degrees. Does this then explain why Minnesotans are characterized as cool to strangers and unable to show guests to the door? Probably not.
Indeed, the authors of the journal article sited another theory that people in cold environments seek “social warmth” to help regulate body temperature. They say a recent study found that that people in colder climates reported a broader variety of social ties than those who lived in warmer areas.
Looking to the future, the authors of the article say that climate change could affect the way personalities are formed across the globe.