That phrase “sunny disposition” may have some new climate science behind it.
A new study in the journal Nature this week suggests that the climate we grew up in may help shape our personalty. The study evaluated people in the U.S. and China. It finds that all other factors being equal, people who grew up in warmer climates are more agreeable, friendlier, more open, and more outgoing.
The study suggests ambient temperature where we live may be the single biggest determining factor of our personality traits. Warmer climates promote more socialization (alpha) and personal growth (beta) by making it easier for people to get outside and explore new things.
Psychological comfort optimum: 72 degrees
The study says “humans have an existential need for thermal comfort.” The paper suggests that 72 degrees is the “psychological comfort optimum” for humans. Even though people seek “social thermoregulation” in colder climates like Minnesota, it’s even easier to socialize in warmer climates.
Minnesotans are known as Minnesota Nice. This study suggests we may have earned that reputation in spite of our sometimes frigid climate, and not because of it. Minnesotans may have to work harder to be more social on our often frozen tundra.
Maybe we should get extra credit here. How about Minnesota “Super Nice?”