The notion that the Brits are a nation of gloomsters is a myth. Britain is filled with FunSeekers, according to a NOP World study.

The study defines FunSeekers as people focused on immediate gratification, leisure and hedonism.

In the UK they comprise 38% of the population, compared to 21% in the US and 27% in Australia.

The average UK consumer lays great store on personal values such as having fun, pleasure, music and enjoying a varied life.

The downside is FunSeekers have high levels of borrowing, which may account for Britain's record levels of debt.

NOP has been tracking key personal values across 30 markets including the USA, Australia, China, India and Europe for the past seven years.

The study has six different categories. These include: Altruists who care about society and issues; Creatives who are interested in learning and personal development and Devouts whose lives are anchored by tradition and faith.

Nick Chiarelli of NOP World says there has been a marked increase in the number of FunSeekers within regions of increasing economic prosperity such as the recent entrants to the European Union.

However countries with a rising role in the world's economy, particulary China and India, show a strong focus on Striver values.

The UK results are based on interviews conducted last November and December with 1,000 people aged between 13 and 65.

Data sourced from: Mr Web; additional content by WARC staff