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Shy flock to cathedrals

20 January 2011

by Ed Beavan

EXTROVERTS are less likely to visit some cathedrals than people who are shy and quiet, research by a Welsh university suggests.

A team from Glyndwr University in Wrexham analysed the personality traits of more than 500 visitors at St Davids and Chester Cathedrals last year. Their questions, based on the psychological framework of Carl Jung, helped to determine the visit­ors’ personality profiles, and found that 42 per cent were extroverts, while there was an “overrepresenta­tion” of introverts: 58 per cent of the total, compared with 48 per cent in an average sample of the population.

Dr Emyr Williams, a lecturer in psychology at Glyndwr University, said cathedrals were more attractive to introverts, “people who are ener­gised by their inner ideas and enjoy solitude and silence”. The Anglican Church was “more set up for intro­verts”, while extroverts often went to more Pentecostal churches, he believed.

The survey also found that the majority of visitors to the cathedrals were in their 60s (27 per cent) and 40s and 50s (a total of 32 per cent); only eight per cent were under 20.

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