How Your Personality Affects Your Environmental Friendliness

Apparently, extroverts are too busy worrying about their social lives to give much headspace to Mother Earth.

Researchers in the UK conducted a small study of people over age 50 to see how their personalities influence how environmentally friendly they are, focusing on the five main personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

It turns out that extraversion was associated with the least green behavior.

While extroverts might be "reasonably green," they note, there were other things competing for their attention that distracted them from performing environmentally conscious tasks. Some of these tasks, as defined in the study were switching off lights, not leaving TVs on, not letting taps run, reusing plastic bags and recycling.

“It isn’t surprising that people who we describe as open — those who are curious, imaginative and untraditional — are more likely to be green," said co-author Sianne Gordon-Wilson in a press release. "But we were surprised that extroverts are less likely to be green."

Keep in mind that this was a preliminary study that didn't measure an individual's greenhouse gas emissions. Still, it’s interesting to see how our personalities can affect what we do (or don't do) to protect our planet.

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