State of mind

Wednesday 1 April 2015 — Homeport: Falmouth Harbor — April Fool’s Day

You know me, dear readers. I’m fascinated by statistical studies. You can well imagine, therefore, my delight when I discovered the latest scientific study just released by “Truity,” the personality and career assessment website headquartered in California. Not to stereotype, but I underscore that this research is coming out of the Republic of California, if you get my drift (Wink, wink). As it says somewhere in the Bible, “Can anything good come from California?” Or something like that. I use one of these new-fangled modern translations.

At any rate, what was the goal of this study but to categorize personality type by state? Who knew that states have personalities? The study subjects came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There was a very large test sample — 12,000 to be exact. The testing instrument was categorized into five personality spectrums: introverted/extroverted, competitive/cooperative, resilient/neurotic, concrete/abstract, and flexible/focused.

Let me immediately announce the grand prize winners on either end of the five spectrums: Introverted people prefer to hide mostly in Vermont. The most competitive people live in the state of Illinois. The most resilient to stress reside in Montana. Those who think in the most concrete terms are also from Illinois. And those who can always go with the flow will be found living in Illinois. Yes, Illinois has swept the field with three gold medals. 

And now, the undisputed champions on the other end of the spectrum. The most extroverted people in the country live in Nevada. The most cooperative will be found in Montana (second gold medal for this state). If you tend to be neurotic, you will feel right at home in South Dakota. The most abstract thinkers will be found in New England — Rhode Island. If you are very organized, you will find kindred spirits concentrated in North Dakota. I wonder if this has anything to do with their neurosis. 

The only New England groups to score big were those introverts in Vermont and the deep thinkers in Rhode Island. The great Commonwealth of Massachusetts didn’t win a single gold medal on either end of the five scales. In fact, Massachusetts didn’t even place in the top five in any of the categories. This can only mean that the people of Massachusetts prefer to stand in the middle, along with virtue herself. 

The research team went on to apply these traits to five individual personalities they identified as the “Producers,” the “Open-Minded,” “the Critics,” “the Eccentrics,” and the “Friendly Conservatives.” Why those California techies choose these five, I can only guess. 

 The “Producers” are the hard-working, no-nonsense types. If you are looking for serious workaholics, you have many states from which to choose: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Avoid Massachusetts, and especially Cape Cod, where folks just tend to lounge around on the beach, goof-off, and enjoy themselves — according to these people from California (wink, wink). 

Next we come to the “Open-Minded” who are into art, literature, the arts and sciences and generally all things intellectual and/or cultural. Finally, Massachusetts is nationally-recognized, along with the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Yes, indeedy. 

I was pleased to learn that, according to this latest study, there are no “Critics” to speak of in Massachusetts. The Critics are a bold bunch that love to challenge and debate. If you’re looking for Critics in New England, you’ll find them concentrated in New Hampshire. Otherwise, you’ll have to travel to Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, or Pennsylvania where they can be found in great numbers.

Then you have the “Eccentrics.” These are the folks who provide the local color. They stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. Contrary to popular belief, these are not found wandering the narrow streets of Cape Cod. Instead, take a short drive to Vermont you’ll see them roving in bands. You can also spot herds of Eccentrics in Kentucky and Delaware. 

Lastly, you have your basic “Friendly Conservatives.” These are the salt-of-the-earth type, devoted to God, nation, and family. They are gregarious and straight-forward. What you see is what you get. Don’t waste your time in New England. Drive out to the Dakotas. There are more Conservative types in these two states than anywhere else in the country. You will remember, perhaps, as stated above, that the state of North Dakota also has the most neurotics. Whether or not there is any direct correlation between conservatism and neurosis has yet to be proven. But if there is any ongoing scientific research in this matter, I bet it is being done in California. Where else?

There’s a great deal in the news these days about profiling. This proves just how far the profiling business can be taken. It has been scientifically proven. I am not making this up. Just ask those trendy people in California.

Never mind that it’s April Fool’s Day. 

Anchor columnist Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts