The Washington Post:
We are forever in search of ways to better understand the cultural differences in our country that lead us to such divergent politics.
A new paper by two psychology professors at the University of Maryland proposes a new way to understand the differences between the states: tightness versus looseness.
Professors Jesse R. Harrington and Michele J. Gelfand studied “the degree to which social entities are ‘tight’ (have many strongly enforced rules and little tolerance for deviance) versus ‘loose’ (have few strongly enforced rules and greater tolerance for deviance)” and then produced a ranking of each state from tightest to loosest. (Among the various characteristics they used to define “tight” or “loose” included the use of corporal punishment in schools, the rate of executions, access to alcohol and the legality of same sex unions. You can read the full paper here.)
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