London: Extroverts are less likely to adopt green lifestyles because they are distracted by their social life, activities and other people, scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth Business School, UK, conducted a study of 204 people aged over 50 to see if personality type affects how green a person is.

They found that among the UK’s older population, those with open personalities are the most green, and extroverts are the least green. Overall, older consumers are only moderately green and although they become more green with age, the findings suggest government, campaigners and advertisers should step up their attempts to educate older people to adopt green behaviours.

“Research hasn’t paid much attention to whether age or personality type has an effect on someone’s greenness,” said researcher Sianne Gordon-Wilson. “Older consumers are growing and their behaviour and attitudes will increasingly be important. Their attitudes are likely to have a powerful effect on Britain’s overall response to reducing greenhouse emissions,” said Gordon-Wilson.

“It isn’t surprising that people who we describe as open – those who are curious, imaginative and untraditional – are more likely to be green. But we were surprised that extroverts are less likely to be green. “We had expected that of all the five main personality types, open and extrovert people would be the most green,” she said.

Extroverts are or might be ‘reasonably green’, but it appears they are easily distracted from making further efforts or changes because other things were competing for their attention, according to the team which included researcher Pratik Modi.

Green behaviour includes not leaving a television on standby, switching off lights, not letting taps run, buying recycled products and taking your own bags to the supermarket. The research is published in the journal Futures.

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