When people move from one place to another, from country to country or city to city, they are more worried about surroundings, neighbors, facilities and other changes which might affect their life. But how many of us have considered that a change of location could actually change our personality?
According to studies, different locations have a deep impact on our character traits like anxiety and extroversion etc. A survey conducted in New York revealed that people of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic were more anxious in their romantic relationships while those in Utah were found out to be least anxious in forming romantic relationships. These studies help the psychologists to understand which personality traits are more prevalent in different parts of the world.
Researchers also observed a high degree of character variations in people belonging to different places. For e.g.: North easterners and South easterners are said to be more obsessed than Westerners. Also, people in Southeast, Midwest, and Utah tend to be more agreeable than other Americans. While, on the other hand, people residing in New York, Colorado and Nevada love to explore and are open to new experiences in life.
These studies are a great way to understand the behavioural patterns of citizens belonging to various places. Few studies revealed that there are three different potential factors that may influence the behavior of a person: migration patterns, ecology, and social influence.
- Migration patterns: Once a place gains a certain reputation, people with similar inclination move there themselves and start following those traditions. This helps to build the character of a place. This character can stay consistent from generation to generation. People belonging to a particular place might reflect same personality traits more strongly than others due to the presence of same genes.
- Ecological influence: Psychologists say that ecological influence plays an important role in shaping people. Depending on environment, people with different personality traits will have to face certain pros and cons.If ecology does play a strong role in personality, weather could also change behaviors. For e.g.: A pleasant spring can lead to improved moods and better memory, while one can witness aggressive behavior with an increase in temperature.
- Social influence: Social influence is considered to have the most powerful influence on personality. Cultural institutions and values span generations and get absorbed by newcomers through people around them.
Winston Churchill famously said that “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.” The science to support Churchill’s claim is still undiscovered. Whether or not our surroundings can affect core personality variables is still an open question. The best we can do is to build psychologically sustainable buildings and cities that are most likely to produce happiness, fulfilment, and life satisfaction.