Texas Pretty Uptight, Study Shows
Photo by Stuart Langridge
We love Texas and all, but damn, can it be uptight -- at least according to research.
A recent study by psychology researchers at the University of Maryland-College Park ranked all 50 states (sorry, D.C.) by how uptight or loose they are when it came to enforcing rules and tolerating deviance. Texas came in as sixth most uptight.
As Vox.com pointed out, the rankings are determined by a "range of social factors, including the legality of corporal punishment in schools, the rate of executions from 1976 to 2011, and the severity of punishment for possessing of marijuana."
Here's the abstract for the study:
This research demonstrates wide variation in tightness-looseness (the strength of punishment and degree of latitude/permissiveness) at the state level in the United States, as well as its association with a variety of ecological and historical factors, psychological characteristics, and state-level outcomes. Consistent with theory and past research, ecological and man-made threats-such as higher incidence of natural disasters, greater disease prevalence, fewer natural resources, and greater degree of external threat-predicted increased tightness at the state level. Tightness is also associated with higher trait conscientiousness and lower trait openness, as well as a wide array of outcomes at the state level. Compared with loose states, tight states have higher levels of social stability, including lowered drug and alcohol use, lower rates of homelessness, and lower social disorganization. However, tight states also have higher incarceration rates, greater discrimination and inequality, lower creativity, and lower happiness relative to loose states, in all tightness-looseness provides a parsimonious explanation of the wide variation we see across the 50 states of the United States of America.
While greater social stability and lower rates of homelessness are nothing to shrug at, greater discrimination, incarceration rates and lower creativity aren't too hot.
Screenshot from pnas.org This map breaks down how uptight states are by quintile.
Mississippi finished first in the ranking (shocker, we know), and the top five was rounded out by Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Washington (48), Oregon (49) and California (50) ranked at the bottom.
Tight Texas forever, y'all.