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Von unterkühlten Norddeutschen, gemütlichen Süddeutschen und aufgeschlossenen Großstädtern: Regionale Persönlichkeitsunterschiede in Deutschland

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1026/0033-3042/a000414

Zusammenfassung. Die geographische Psychologie befasst sich unter anderem mit Persönlichkeitsunterschieden von Regionen und Regionstypen, in denen Personen leben und handeln. Mittels solcher Forschung können regionale „Mentalitäten“ untersucht werden aus denen sich Forschungsfragen zu Entwicklungspfaden von Regionen und deren Populationen ableiten lassen. Während existierende psychologische Regionalforschung „psychologische Landkarten“ vor allem in den USA und Großbritannien erforschte, liefert die vorliegende Analyse eine Regionaluntersuchung für Deutschland auf kleinteiligem Raumniveau (97 deutsche Raumordnungsregionen). Basierend auf dem Big Five Modell der Persönlichkeit werden deutsche Daten der „The Big Five Project“-Studie (N = 73756) präsentiert. Es werden regionale Persönlichkeitsunterschiedliche zwischen städtischen und ländlichen Regionen, Ost- und Westdeutschland, und Nord- und Süddeutschland getestet. Es finden sich insbesondere Hinweise für a) die empirische Validität einiger Stereotype (wie das der unterkühlten, rauen Norddeutschen, der gemütlichen Süddeutschen und der aufgeschlossenen Großstädter), b) systematische Migrationsmuster, und c) eine Köln-München Linie in der regionalen Verteilung von Neurotizismus. Die Effektstärken in den Regionalunterschieden sind in der Regel zwar gering, aber dennoch mit wichtigen Implikationen für zukünftige Forschung und Anwendungsgebiete.


Reserved Northerners, Jovial Southerners, and Open Urbanites: Regional Personality Differences in Germany

Abstract. The study and explanation of regional personality differences is a central research topic in geographical psychology. Such research on regional “mentalities” can inform, for example, studies examining socioeconomic trajectories of regions and local populations. Whereas existing regional personality research mostly concentrated on regions in the United States and the United Kingdom, the present study delivers results for 97 German regions (Raumordnungsregionen). We analyze and aggregate individual-level data collected in the The Big Five Project study (N = 73,756). We compare regional differences in the Big Five traits between urban versus rural regions, East versus West Germany, and Northern versus Southern Germany. The results indicate that: (a) popular stereotypes (e. g., reserved Northerners, jovial Southerners, and open urbanites) may contain a kernel of truth; (b) systematic migration patterns could drive / maintain regional personality differences; and (c) there is a relatively clear Cologne–Munich line in the regional variation of neuroticism in Germany. Despite the small effect sizes, the present results have new implications for research and practice concerned with the socioeconomic trajectories of German regions.

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