Mental states

Like many popular-press articles about psychological studies (fuzziness squared!), these conclusions about regional culture are fascinating but probably worth taking with a grain of salt. The interactive graphics that go with the article are definitely worth a click.

Even after controlling for variables such as race, income and education levels, a state’s dominant personality turns out to be strongly linked to certain outcomes. Amiable states, like Minnesota, tend to be lower in crime. Dutiful states—an eclectic bunch that includes New Mexico, North Carolina and Utah—produce a disproportionate share of mathematicians. States that rank high in openness to new ideas are quite creative, as measured by per-capita patent production. But they’re also high-crime and a bit aloof. Apparently, Californians don’t much like socializing, the research suggests.

from “The United States of Mind,” by Stephanie Simon,, 23 September 2008 :: via Ideas Blog

Originally published at

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