Does happiness depend on where you live?

Does happiness depend on where you live?

by Bridget Grenville-Cleave for Positive Psychology News Daily

One of the aspects of studying positive psychology which really appeals to me is its sheer breadth _ã_ the fact that it applies in so many fields of human endeavour and experience. Positive psychology appears in disciplines as diverse as art and design, education, politics, and business. So this new research which looks at urban positive psychology particularly caught my eye this week.

Most of the scientific research related to cities focuses on their geography, history, economy, or politics. Very few studies have looked at them from a psychological perspective. Why does this matter, you might wonder. Can psychology tell us anything interesting about cities and those who live in them anyway?

You_ã_ll be familiar I_ã_m sure with national stereotypes, and the fact that in many countries we distinguish between southerners and northerners, or those who live in the east and  the west.  Research by Jason Rentfrow at the University of Cambridge, UK, and two colleagues in the US suggests that there are regional variations in personality traits. For example in the United States, there is a concentration of Woody Allenesque neurotics on the East Coast and those open to experience (psych-speak for hippies and bohemians?) on the West Coast. Such geographical variations have been brilliantly mapped on Richard Florida_ã_s Who_ã_s Your City? website.

But do people who live in different cities really have different psychological traits and dispositions? Few psychologists have studied variation across cities before now and those who have have focused on the negatives such as obesity, psychiatric disorders and violent crime. So new positive psychology research into city-level strengths by Nansook Park and Chris Peterson from the University of Michigan is not only interesting, but also very refreshing. As they point out, it_ã_s high time we looked at what_ã_s right with city life…

…read more about happiness and where you live and positive psychology research – HERE