The best personalities come from California, new study

The best personalities are cultivated in California, according to a new study.

Year-round sunshine and mild temperatures were found to positively affect people’s overall personalities based on key traits, while they said residents of colder climates, such as Massachusetts, are more likely to be rude and unpleasant people.

The study also pinpointed the perfect temperature for good personalities – suggesting that growing up in the average San Jose temperature of 71 degrees will produce the most agreeable, emotionally stable and open people.

And good weather not only leads to a spike in positive mood and personality, but those living in warmer areas are also less likely to suffer from seasonal depression.

Average Southern California weather of 71 degrees produces the best personalities, according to an international team of researchers 

The hundreds of personality traits used to describe humans are largely captured by five broad dimensions called the Big Five: agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extroversion, and openness to experience.

Now an international team of researchers has examined 1.6million people in a large study spanning areas in the US and China to find out how weather influences those traits.

Researchers from the University of Texas were able to identify a positive association between those who grew up in a mild climate and the Big Five personality characteristics through a psychological assessments.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can include:

  • A persistent low mood and/or low self-esteem
  • Tearfulness, feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • Carb cravings and weight gain
  • Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning. Nausea upon waking may also be a symptom
  • Feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day
  • Irritability and feeling stressed or anxious
  • Lack of libido and/or loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities

Participants in the US ranked themselves from one to five on a 44-question self-reported personality test called the Big Five Inventory.

The study published in Nature found that residents of mild environments, such as California, scored higher on key personality traits including agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability than those living in colder conditions.

‘The idea is that, as a warm-blooded species, humans have a basic need for thermal comfort,’ Samuel Gosling, study researcher and professor at the University of Texas told Huffington Post.

‘Pleasant temperatures encourage individuals to explore the outside environment, where both social interactions and new experiences abound,’ he added.  

Californians have 12 months to enjoy the outdoors, whereas those in the northeast spend around four months weathering the cold, which can lead to lower interest in socializing. 

So while January can be spent on a 65-degree hike in the Hollywood Hills, Bostonians will be shoveling the snow off their car at below freezing temperatures, which could clearly effect personality and mood. 

And the study determined that the further temperatures deterred either way from 71 degrees, the lower participants scored.

Researchers said the findings provide a new perspective on how and why personalities vary across geographical regions beyond previous economic theories including subsistence style and selective migration. 

The study took into account age, gender and economic status, which proved to not sway the results – concluding that temperature plays a large role in personality traits.  

Those who experience colder winters are also more likely to suffer seasonal affective disorder or SAD due to lack of sunlight.

SAD is a form of depression that affects more than three million Americans each year when the clock turns forward an hour and daylight is decreased.

Bostonians who experience temperatures below freezing have the reputation of being unpleasant and blunt, as seen in the gloomy Massachusetts-based movie Manchester by the Sea

Bostonians who experience temperatures below freezing have the reputation of being unpleasant and blunt, as seen in the gloomy Massachusetts-based movie Manchester by the Sea

It is categorized as a persistent low mood, low self esteem, feelings of despair and worthlessness. 

Lack of sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin levels, a brain chemical or neurotransmitter that affects mood. And the winter months can increase melatonin levels, which induces sleep. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal depression is found in those who live further from the equator.

A study discovered that one percent of Floridians suffered from SAD whereas nine percent suffered in New England.

‘When the ambient temperature is either too hot or too cold, individuals are less likely to go outside and therefore less likely to meet up with friends, to try new activities,’ said Samuel Gosling.

This lack of interest in socializing due to weather resulted in a drop on the scale.   

The NIH recommends getting as much sunlight as possible and exercising regularly to combat the harsh winters.

But if that seems impossible due to your location, maybe it’s time to move to San Diego.