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Infrastructurist points to a scholarly study in last month’s issue of American Psychologist, analyzing the personalities of cities based on an internet survey* of respondents on the qualities of “heart” (gratitude, compassion, teamwork, hope, modesty, religiousness) and “head” (creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, and love of learning).
The top ten cerebral cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Seattle, Austin, San Diego, New York, and El Paso.
The bottom ten: Arlington (Texas), Oklahoma City, Omaha, Columbus, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Virginia Beach, and Dallas.
The top ten emotional cities: El Paso, Mesa, Miami, Virginia Beach, Fresno, Jacksonville, Omaha, Phoenix, Long Beach, and Nashville.
The bottom ten: Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Memphis, Minneapolis, Portland, and Los Angeles.
So, we don’t even make it into the top ten smartest cities, despite having nearly triple the national average number of PhDs per capita. But we do make it into the bottom ten for things like compassion and modesty. Washington: Surprisingly dumb, predictably soulless.
*Internet surveys are what they are, of course, but in this case it seems like the inevitable sampling flaws wouldn’t skew these particular results.