personalities and migration, days gone by, positive thinking and expectations

On the Move: Personality influences migration patterns

The results, reported in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that personality traits determine not only where people relocate to, but also how often they move and how far away they move. The researchers found that people with a very active personality have a tendency to migrate, to both urban and rural locales. People who are very emotional are more likely to move away from home, but do not migrate very far and do not move very often. Emotional people tend to migrate equally to both urban and rural locations. People with very social personalities are more inclined to leave rural settings for urban areas and are more likely to migrate over long distances.

The authors suggest that since urban areas are densely populated, they appeal to people with high sociability traits—urban areas offer plenty of opportunities for social interaction.

Technically speaking in the realm of psychology migrating is the correct term, but to many of us its just moving. If memory serves the average American moves every five years. Cities in America are generally  friendly places. Its curious that they owe some debt to suburban and rural areas that offer up their “very social personalities” for their liveliness. I was born and stayed in one city until the military started moving us about. Turned out to be a turning point for me. Adapting wasn’t as idfficult for me as some people. So much so that it became a little addictive. OK we’ve been here awhile. Done things, made some friends, seen the sites. Time to see what else is out there. Frequent movers tend to develop priorities about stuff. The more you have the more you have to move. Part of my tendency to minimalism is due to frequent moves as much as aesthetics.

days gone by

Not that anyone that reads this blog is dumb of course, but feel that in the middle of a financial meltdown  the media and politicians have been high on hype and short on substance, The Dummy’s Guide to the US Banking Crisis. It is not definitive and there is a slant to it I don’t care for in a few entries, but the time line is worth the read.

I was probably born with a tendency to distrust Pollyannaish talk and insistence by those with any kind of authority to be positive. Life experience has done nothing but reinforce those tendencies. I’m put off by constant cynicism and negativity too, but generally speaking people that have cynical personalities usually aren’t going out of their way to hide reality or to hide something from others. When you express concerns about the behavior or actions of the terminally upbeat, you’re almost always accused of being negative. Not always ( remember Mr Rogers), but this is frequently a signal that you’re dealing with a person or organization that is up to something. Maybe an ethical lapse, maybe criminal behavior or something in the murky middle. To realize this is not to believe that everyone and everything sucks, its just reality. How Positive Thinking Wrecked the Economy

Greed — and its crafty sibling, speculation — are the designated culprits for the ongoing financial crisis, but another, much admired, habit of mind should get its share of the blame: the delusional optimism of mainstream, all-American, positive thinking. As promoted by Oprah, scores of megachurch pastors, and an endless flow of self-help bestsellers, the idea is to firmly belief that you will get what you want, not only because it will make you feel better to do so, but because thinking things, “visualizing” them — ardently and with concentration — actually makes them happen. You will be able to pay that adjustable rate mortgage or, at the other end of the transaction, turn thousands of bad mortgages into giga-profits, the reasoning goes, if only you truly believe that you can.

Positive thinking is endemic to American culture — from weight loss programs to cancer support groups — and in the last two decades it put down deep roots in the corporate world as well. Everyone knows that you won’t get a job paying more than $15 an hour unless you’re a “positive person” — doubt-free, uncritical, and smiling — and no one becomes a CEO by issuing warnings of possible disaster.

One of the neighbors, a fellow WordPresser has a slightly chilling post up called Arachnophobia. I’m a live and let live type when it comes to spiders, but I draw the line at full out house invasions. If spiders learn to pay rent and not bite I might reconsider.