‘Most mis­er­able peo­ple in city’

Study finds least agree­able res­i­dents

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Camilla Hor­rox

PEO­PLE liv­ing in Hilling­don, Houn­slow, Eal­ing and Har­row are the most mis­er­able in­hab­i­tants of London, ac­cord­ing to a Cam­bridge Univer­sity study.

The least agree­able peo­ple were found in western cen­tral London, an area that has the high­est crime rate, busiest pedes­trian traf­fic and some of the high­est hous­ing prices in the world.

The study shows that prop­erty pur­chases in London should per­haps be based on how well res­i­dents are suited to an area rather than tra­di­tional mea­sures such as crime fig­ures, schools or hous­ing prices.

Re­searchers from the univer­sity have cre­ated a map of the cap­i­tal which shows that peo­ple with spe­cific per­son­al­ity types flock to cer­tain ar­eas in a phe­nom­e­non dubbed ‘ge­o­graph­i­cal clus­ter­ing’.

Be­tween 2009 and 2011, the BBC col­lected data from almost 590,000 peo­ple as part of its Big Per­son­al­ity Test.

An in­ter­na­tional team of re­searchers has an­a­lysed data from the sub­set of 56,000 Lon­don­ers to ex­am­ine how as­so­ci­a­tions be­tween per­son­al­ity and life sat­is­fac­tion dif­fered across the 216 postal dis­tricts of Greater London. The re­sults were pub­lished on Mon­day in the jour­nal Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences.

The study found that peo­ple liv­ing in ar­eas such as West­min­ster, Kens­ing­ton and Chelsea were less sym­pa­thetic, co­op­er­a­tive or con­sid­er­ate than those on the out­skirts.

The nicest in­hab­i­tants live in Brom­ley and Croy­don, ac­cord­ing to the re­search, while the most mis­er­able ap­pear to in­habit Houn­slow, Eal­ing, Hilling­don, Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham, Ne­wham and Har­row.

But they are far more open to new ex­pe­ri­ences than their sub­ur­ban coun­ter­parts, who shy away from new ex­pe­ri­ences, the re­search showed. In fact, the maps re­veal that peo­ple be­come pro­gres­sively less ad­ven­turess as they move fur­ther from the cen­tre of London.

South London ap­pears to house the great­est num­ber of ex­tro­verts, with gre­gar­i­ous types flock­ing to Rich­mond, Wandsworth and Lam­beth. Res­i­dents of Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham and Wandsworth were the most emotionally sta­ble, fol­lowed closely by Rich­mond.

Res­i­dents of leafy Rich­mond were the most sat­is­fied and the most emotionally sta­ble, while those in Hack­ney, Cam­den and Is­ling­ton were un­usu­ally con­sci­en­tious.

Dr Ja­son Rent­frow, of the depart­ment of psy­chol­ogy at Cam­bridge Univer­sity said: “Th­ese find­ings not only add to our un­der­stand­ing of the ways in which our per­son­al­i­ties re­late to our phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments, but they also pro­vide use­ful in­for­ma­tion for choos­ing a place to live.”

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