Wiebke Bleidorn, Felix Schönbrodt, Jochen E. Gebauer, Peter Rentfrow, Jeff Potter, Samuel Gosling
To live among like-minded others: Exploring the links between person-city personality fit and self-esteem

Psychological Science, 2016: 27, issue 3, pp. 419-427
ISSN: 0956-7976 (print); 1467-9280 (online)

Does it matter if your personality fits in with the personalities of the people where you live? The present study explored the links between person-city personality fit and self-esteem. Using data from 543,934 residents of 860 U.S. cities, we examined the extent to which the fit between individuals’ Big Five personality traits and the Big Five traits of the city where they live (i.e., the prevalent traits of the city’s inhabitants) predicts individuals’ self-esteem. To provide a benchmark for these effects, we also estimated the degree to which the fit between person and city religiosity predicts individuals’ self-esteem. The results provided a nuanced picture of the effects of person-city personality fit on self-esteem: We found significant but small effects of fit on self-esteem only for openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, rather than effects for all Big Five traits. Similar results and effect sizes were observed for religiosity. We conclude with a discussion of the relevance and limitations of this study.