By Andy Hargreaves

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The Isles of Scilly has the most agreeable and conscientious people in the country.

Those are the findings of a scientific study into personality traits among the residents of all 380 local authority areas in the UK.

The results are the culmination of a survey first launched by the BBC as part of its ‘Big Personality Test’ two years ago. And over 400,000 people took part.

They assessed how extravert, agreeable, conscientious, neurotic or open people were.

Dr Jason Rentfrow, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University was one of the study’s authors.

Jason says people in Scilly appear to be the most agreeable and conscientious in the nation.

He says people who are agreeable tend to be more caring, considerate and warm towards others, while being highly conscientious means you’re more likely to get a job done.

Jason says living on an island, where you need to get on with your neighbours, could be a key factor.

He said people living in densely populated areas like London tend to score low on agreeableness, probably because they’re constantly encountering strangers. That makes them more reserved and cautious.

Rural areas, and particularly other island communities, like Argyle and Bute, and the Shetlands, have scored higher on this scale.

Jason says age could also be important. Office for National Statistics data show that Scilly has one of the oldest populations in the country.

He says contrary to popular belief, people tend to become warmer, friendlier and more considerate towards others as they age. That’s because they’re more comfortable and secure in their lives.

Jason says another trend in the data is the lower levels of neurotic behaviour in island communities. Scilly was second lowest in this area, with only Orkney showing a lower level.

He says overall, he was surprised by the big differences in personality across the country, particularly given the small size of the UK.

And he says there doesn’t seem to be one overall pattern that defines ‘Britishness.’