Holidaymakers wishing to enjoy the perfect break should not waste time flicking through glossy brochures - they should check their personalities.

A psychological study based on consumer surveys and tourism statistics found different characters were attracted to different destinations. Pick the wrong place and the holiday could go badly.

The study applied to Scotland but could, says the author, be used around the UK. She found street-wise types prefer Glasgow and those seeking adventure go to the West Highlands and Stirling areas, home of Rob Roy and William Wallace.

Donna Dawson, an American psychologist who compiled the research for the Scottish Tourist Board, said: "Glasgow's vibrant atmosphere appeals to the sociable, even brash person and they often travel up with mates. They tend to start conversations with complete strangers and are always ready to have a laugh."

Sensitive souls head for the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland whose timelessness and remoteness apparently puts them in touch with their spiritual side. The peaceful surroundings help them to wind down and relax. "Painters, photographers and musicians are likely to be among these holidaymakers," says the study. Hard-working and ambitious people who have to force themselves to relax go to the mountainous landscapes of the Highlands and Skye. "They feel the need to escape to something bigger than themselves, to put their existence and life into perspective. They are self-motivated and ambitious, they like a challenge and need excitement."

Edinburgh is largely populated with cosmopolitan types who need mental and visual stimulation. They have a low boredom threshold and need to pack a lot into their day.

The south of Scotland, including the Borders, is often chosen by romantics. "This conservative character has a love of gardens, gently rolling countryside and temperate weather, preferring cycling, fishing and birdwatching."

The West Highlands and Islands, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs draw those who are "fiercely independent and adventurous with a strong character and strongly held beliefs", Ms Dawson said.

"This personality would be full of restless energy, which they would disperse in athletic pursuits, hill-walking, sailing, scuba-diving or horse-riding."

So, put down the brochures and analyse yourself.