Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Extroverts prefer beaches? What your holiday destination says about you

rexfeatures_2209474f.jpg

We've nearly all had those group holidays. The ones where two days in, the truth begins to dawn that there's been a terrible mismatch of travelling personalities, resulting in a daily struggle to accommodate everyone's preferences - or simply a split down the middle between those lying on the beach all day and those up at 8am for a hike to some ruins.

Now new research seems to confirm a link between personality and geography - with extroverts choosing the beach and introverts choosing mountains as their preferred natural environments.

While we've probably always known that pairing devotees of exotic sunshine breaks with those who prefer wet camping weekends on home turf does not make for an ideal getaway, according to University of Virginia researchers, this is the first time a study has looked at the specific personality traits of extroversion and introversion and their relation to landscape.

beach

If the beach is your idea of a nightmare holiday, it may be down to personality

Psychologist Shigehiro Oishi worked from prior theories of “person-environment fit”, which says people actively select environments to match them - such as introverts seeking quiet and solitude and the more outgoing among us happy to find somewhere that offers the chance to interact.

Previous studies have looked at how this works in offices and other social environments, while the new study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, shows the theory appears to translate to physical environment, with extroverts preferring wide, open spaces such as the beach and introverts preferring woods and mountains. Otherwise, there were no other significant personality differences between those who liked the beach and those who liked the mountains.

The research comprised of five studies, one of which explored whether where someone lived had an effect on their personality in the first place. Using results from 613,000 respondents to a personality survey, the paper concludes, “We found that residents of mountainous U.S. states were more introverted than residents of flat states”, although it's difficult to say whether the introverted clustered there or were introverted as a result of living there.

To that end, another test was carried out where students were interviewed in two different spaces - open areas and secluded areas - and their responses analysed. Neither environment made the students more or less introverted or extroverted than they already were, but each group was happier in the space that correlated to their personality type.

So if the idea of a beach is your nightmare holiday, or you can't think of anything worse than miles of scenery without another living soul in sight, consider that it may be down to how outgoing - or not - you are. And choose your travelling companions wisely.

Words: Amy Swales / Images: Rex Features

Related

books.jpg

The best books to read on the plane, based on your holiday destination

hero.jpg

Photographers share “views from my window” in cities around the world

MaryPortas_ShopGirl.jpg

The top 10 summer books, as recommended by the experts at Penguin

tcollection.jpg

Last-minute getaways: the best places to visit in Greece right now

11402753_1007414519269279_2792948357530915562_o.jpg

This girl has been on a holiday for three years - and it sounds easy

hero.jpg

Best new erotic fiction and classic sexy reads for the beach in 2015

Comments

More

Why embracing the great outdoors makes Norwegians happier

And how it can work for you, too

by The Stylist web team
30 Nov 2016

The 10 most inspiring cities in the world have been revealed

And guess which British city has made the list?

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

This airline’s flights could be completely free within a decade

Um, what?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Study reveals where in Europe your job would make you the most money

Want to exit post-Brexit?

by Moya Crockett
22 Nov 2016

Dream home? This couple have built their own DIY island

And it’s ridiculously beautiful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Nov 2016

Stylist’s Instagram travel competition: the winners

18 Nov 2016

Everything you need to know about Airbnb Trips

The website has introduced a major new feature

by Amy Swales
17 Nov 2016

“I went travelling after being jilted - here's what I learned”

After she was left heartbroken, Katy Colins set off to explore the world alone.

by Moya Crockett
17 Nov 2016

10 great light art festivals around the world

From Amsterdam to Australia, brighten up the dark winter with these dazzling shows

by Anna Melville-James
16 Nov 2016

Museum of Happiness hosting series of free events to cheer us all up

From free yoga sessions to feel-good movie nights

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Nov 2016