Brockley 'has a good personality'

The Telegraph reports a Cambridge University study which suggests that:

Overall, more intelligent people with extrovert, open personalities moved to cities while the more introverted and relaxed settled in villages or small towns.

Jason Rentfrow, who led the study, said that where personality types would once have been distributed randomly across Britain, increased mobility had led to clusters.

He said: "People's level of satisfaction with their lives is strongly affected by where they live. Our findings suggest they are happiest where their personalities most closely resemble that of the other people in that area."

The research supports Richard Florida's assertion that economic activity is increasingly driven by the "creative classes" who cluster in cities.

More importantly, it tells us what we already knew, which is that people in London (and by London, we mean Brockley) are basically great.

Mr Rentfrow said:

"London is becoming psychologically separate from the rest of the nation.

"People in London tend to be, on average, more analytical, assertive, dominant, efficient and creative. People in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are less open-minded, more traditional and less tolerant of differences."

31 comments:

Hugh said...

Knew they'd catch up with me.

Monkeyboy said...

"Our findings suggest they are happiest where their personalities most closely resemble that of the other people in that area."

His PhD should be awarded for "Stating The Bleeding Obvious"

Anonymous said...

Psychology is the 'science' of the bleedin' obvious AFAIK.

Headhunter said...

Interesting. I don't think that it's necessarily obvious that people gravitate to where others of similar personailities live. Regarding areas within London, certainly some people who come to live in London try to find somewhere close to where their friends live hence vast hordes of 20 somethings, blinkered to most of the rest of London, descending on Clapham to share the exorbitant rents.

However I think that many people's decisions are price/economics motivated. Certainly one of the reasons I was attracted to Brockers is the fact that its station is in zone 2 so you stand to save money on rail fares, it's also not so far out that you can't get a bus into central London. Also it has a good stock of quality housing at a relatively cheap price. Of course I didn't want to live on the same street as the neighbours from hell, but that was largely of secondary importance.

Comparing people in London with those in other cities or towns I have certainly noticed that people in cities like Liverpool where I have friends, seem to have more time to speak to you. It was noticeable that people in ticket offices at rail stations, in supermarkets etc were more chatty and friendly than in London.

Hugh said...

People live near people who make similar money, or people whose earning power they intend to emulate.

Monkeyboy said...

Award Hugh a 3rd from a provincial Polytechnic.

Anonymous said...

Overall, more intelligent people with extrovert, open personalities moved to cities.Overall, street wise people who pee in public under railway arches who stagger around drunk, shouting abuse moved to cities.

Anonymous said...

Overall, more intelligent people with extrovert, open personalities moved to cities.Overall, street wise people who pee in public under railway arches who stagger around drunk, shouting abuse moved to cities.

beautifulsouth said...

headhunter of course people up north spend longer talking to strangers - they've got nothing else to do and nowhere to go. They can witter on about the weather to their heart's content.

Doesn't make them friendlier - they're probably moaning about foreigners.

Hugh said...

Monkeyboy, I wouldn't call Oxbridge a provincial poly, old fruit.

Brockley Nick said...

You went to both?

Headhunter said...

Yes both Oxford Brookes and Anglia Ruskin universities.....

Hugh said...

Do I sense a little diehard redbrikka envy?

graeme said...

Did you actually go to either Oxford or Cambridge University Hugh?

Hugh said...

graeme, I thought these things didn't matter.

Brockley Nick said...

Go on hugh, pick a college, any college

Tressilliana said...

We were in Cambridge recently and much amused to see that the railway platform signs say: Cambridge, Home of Anglia Ruskin University.

I went to UCL.

Monkeyboy said...

Brighton Polytechnic

Hugh said...

Nick, I see the envy burns strongly still!

The Cat Man said...

I went here:

http://www.ph.rhul.ac.uk/pics/founders.html

and here:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/

ross said...

"People in London tend to be, on average, more analytical, assertive, dominant, efficient and creative. People in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are less open-minded, more traditional and less tolerant of differences"

what a lot of urban elitist crap - like london is just one big homogenous lump of people that can be given a 'personality' reflective of those who live there

Brockley Nick said...

Ross, it doesn't assume homogeneity, it simply says certain traits are common in certain populations.

ross said...

and puts forward examples of those 'certain populations' (which in turn display those certain traits) as London, Scotland, Wales - so whether it assumes homogeneity or not, it certainly infers it by that awfully worded smug urban cack that was quoted

The Cat Man said...

like culture perhaps? oh i forgot, thats a big no no topic

westsider said...

There you go.ross and catman. Peas in a pod. Not so sure about their open mindedness though

ross said...

@ catman

not sure what you mean, but official multiculturalism does exactly the same thing, oh there's bunch of muslims they must all be the same and share the same wants, desires, hopes, dreams, threats, anxieties, fears etc... etc.. so lets treat them all as a big lump of sameness (and let them be represented by self appointed 'community leaders') regardless of what the people who constitute that lump actually want/feel - and all this ironically done in the name of diversity (as long as it's diversity between and not within community/ethnic groupings - which is why your heroes, the BNP, are one of the strongest supporters of the principle of that failed policy of official multiculturalism)

ross said...

"here you go.ross and catman. Peas in a pod. Not so sure about their open mindedness though"

got similar doubts about your analytical faculties

spincat said...

There is, perhaps, a tendency to think the reason why 'people' do one thing or another is the same as your own motivation for doing something.

Surely people live in a particular area for a whole range of reasons, from their families always having lived there, to price in terms of commuting, to thinking it is an exciting area, and/or proximity to work, or property investment, or was offered accommodation there... etc etc

Headhunter said...

I would agree with that, Spincat. I suppose that to a certain extent, some personality types may remain in London for longer, I suppose it takes a certain type of person to make the most of the benefits of London and overlook the pollution, busy streets, general rudeness, expense and other negative aspects of living here.

However I think a lot of people of all backgrounds and personality types come to London for economic reasons, basically there are more jobs of any type or category in London than anywhere else in the UK.

I expect that certain people would tire of London more quickly than others though, I think possibly more extroverted people remain in London, whereas others move out to quieter towns and villages.

Bubble Burster said...

What simplistic crap.

11,088 people is not a statistically significant sample for the UK population of over 60 million. It will have a pathetic confidence interval, whatever the correlation coefficient.

That is why decent research in social science comes from the LSE, not Oxbridge or the cornflake packet Hugh cut his degree in ignorant pomposity out of.

patrick1971 said...

Well, not really.

Sample size n and margin of error E are given by:

x = Z(c/100)2r(100-r)

n = N x/((N-1)E2 + x)

E = Sqrt[(N - n)x/n(N-1)]

where N is the population size, r is the fraction of responses that you are interested in, and Z(c/100) is the critical value for the confidence level c. (The 2s in the equations above are squared - can't do the superscript on this!)

Sample size doesn't change much over 20,000. That's why most market research is based on 1,000 samples; it's enough to get a good idea. Of course they sometimes get it wrong (most famously the 1992 election) but generally it's pretty good.

And of course, the size of the sample is much less important than the sample being representative of the population as a whole.

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