Essentially, the authors of the original article gave the Big Five personality scale to folks all over the US. They broke down the results by state. Then Time created an interactive map of the US in order to display the data.
How to use in class:
1) The website is interactive in two ways:
a) It includes the short form version of the Big Five scale. If you complete it, it returns both your results as well as the state that best matches your personality (I match with Indiana).
b) If you cursor over any state in the map, it presents you with the average score on each of the Big Five for that state. It also presents you with n-size for the sample used for that state as well how that state ranked for each personality trait in comparison with all fifty states. This gives you a chance to review rank order and sample size as well as mean.
2) Turn this into an ANOVA example. Yes, the color coding on the map suggests some regional differences, but do they actually pan out when one conducts an ANOVA? Below, I've provided neuroticism data by region so that you can use it in class. It is coded such that 1 = West, 2 = South, 3 = Northeast, 4 = Midwest.
Spoiler alert: It is statistically significant, but not all regions vary from all other regions. Additionally, there is some marginal significance in the post-hocs that you can discuss.
5) If you want to ease your statistics babies into a fo' realz, peer-reviewed article after they play around with the pretty, interactive data, here is the original publication:
Rentfrow, P. J., Gosling, S. D., Jokela, M., Stillwell, D. J., Kosinski, M., & Potter, J. (2013). Divided we stand: Three psychological regions of the United States and their political, economic, social, and health correlates. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 996-1012.