Mohanad Kaleia

Idea for a cause

Different Countries, Different Personalities


Travelling abroad has so many advantages, one of them is seeing different cultures, different traditions and manners. Some manners considered to be good in countries are considered bad in some other countries. For example giving a tip in Japan for a server in a restaurant is kind of rude, while in US is totally the opposite. Another example, is clearing your plate. In China when dining, you should leave some part of the food on your plate. Speaking about food, in Europe if you did not finish your plate it is not popular to the left over in a box, people consider is impolite.

Manners could be changed between countries, but do countries have different personalities.  Scientist divided personalities traits into five main personalities:

  1. Openness: people who are high in openness enjoy adventure, they are curious and appreciate art, imagination and new things.
  2. Extraversion: the more extravert a person is the more social they are
  3. Agreeableness: the more agreeable some is the more likely they are to be trusting, helpful and compassionate.
  4. Conscientiousness: people who are conscientious are organized and have strong sense of duty.
  5. Neuroticism: people with neuroticism personality are more likely to be moody and experience feelings such as anxiety, worry  and anger


To answer this question, scientists gave personality test on thousands of people from different nationalities. They found out that the average personality differ from country to country. One of the studies published by Robert McCrae in 2005, where the study applied on 12,000 college students from 51 different countries. This study shows that the average personality for Brazilian, French Swiss and Maltese is Extraversion while the opposite for Nigerians, Moroccan and Indonesian. German have an openness personality. Another study published in 2007, applied on 17,000 people from 56 different nations around the world. This study found out that the people in Japan and Argentina have an average personality of Neuroticism. While, the personality of Agreeableness is found in Congo and Jordan.

What can explain these differences in personalities between different nations? Some scientists relate the personality to a genetic reasons. Other experts speculated that differences in climate could influence the differences in personality. For example, cold regions with a lack of sunlight contributes in emotional instability. Population density could play a part. Recent evidence suggests that living in a crowded environment leads people to think more about the future such as investing more in long-term relationships. Last year, Joan Barcelo compared countries’ personality with their political systems and found a correlation. Countries with higher rates of openness personalities tended to have more democratic institutions.

The differences in cultures, personalities, traditions and manners make our world amazing. Without these differences our world would be pretty boring.






Master Student at University of Oklahoma,
Electrical and Computer Engineering

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