Home > Archive > Volume 64, No. 4 > This paper

Atmosphere and National Personality

Federico R. León

Published: 2024/06/01


The evidence on influences of temperature, rain, and UV radiation on national personality traits presents voids and contradictions. Utilizing structural equation modeling across 81 countries, the present study yielded positive effects of UV radiation on aggressiveness and, through gender inequality and per capita income, negative effects on cognitive performance and life satisfaction. Steady rain behaved as a positive influence on freedoms and life satisfaction through its effects on individualism; it also acted through European ancestry outside Europe. A general factor of national personality traits (aggressiveness, creativity, trust), akin in some ways to the general factors of personality obtained with individuals as units of analysis, emerged significantly related to a geo-climatic latent variable (absolute latitude, average temperature, thermal demands, steady rain) through the mediation of a factor encompassing socio-ecological variables (wealth, education, gender equality, freedoms). The findings are interpreted considering millennial and contemporary actions of the atmosphere on national traits, acting both through the material and social environment and directly. However, causal pathways remain hypothetical. Reciprocal causation, implying causal actions of national traits on the climate, would be too minimal to play a role. Keywords: UV radiation, Temperature, Steady rain, Aggressiveness, Creativity, Individualism, Life Satisfaction, Trust

   Download PDF