When you're deciding where to live and start your business, you probably consider economic factors like cost of living, the available pool of talent, and whether a place is business-friendly, as well as personal factors like proximity to family and friends or what activities are available there to fill your leisure hours.

One thing you're probably not considering is whether the terrain matches your personality. But new research suggests that maybe you should.

It's idea that most likely never occurred to you, but according to a series of studies done by a team led by University of Virginia psychologist Shige Oishi, whether you're more suited to, say, mountainous Aspen or beachside San Diego doesn't just depend on whether you like to surf or ski. Whether you're an introvert or extravert may also play a role.

Mountains are for introverts?

The research revealed that not only do people rate wooded mountain areas as more calm and peaceful and open ones--such as the beach or a flat city--as more sociable and stimulating, but it also found that in actual fact more introverts really do live in mountainous areas and extroverts in flat, open ones. (This is because introverts move to the mountains, the research release points out, not that being in craggy, remote areas makes you an introvert.)

And you don't have to be a mountain-man-type loner who can go months in a cabin with only your dog and nature for company for these results to apply to you, according to Oishi. Everyday folks would do well to give at least some thought to terrain when selecting where to live.

"Some cities and towns have geography that is more accommodating for some people than for others...if you know you're introverted, then you may be rejuvenated by being in a secluded place, while an extrovert may be rejuvenated more in an open space," Oishi commented.

Of course, matching the landscape to your degree of extraversion is almost certainly going to be far from your primary consideration when choosing where to live, but these results suggest that if you're always had a hankering for living tucked away in a mountain valley or next to the wide open sky over the ocean, your personality very well may be behind the preference--and if other factors work out, you'll probably be happier indulging it.

Do you find these study results match up with your personality and preferences?

Published on: May 4, 2015
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