Have you ever contemplated whether the the life you lead is "tight" or "loose"? No? Oh, well anyway, turns out where you live has a lot to do with how you'll likely answer. And although a few of our largest cities including Austin, TX are more likely considered to be on "loose" side of the spectrum, Texas on a whole is not.

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First off, this has nothing to do with where your 12-year-old brain might have gone, well actually, maybe a little. But it has to do more with how researchers across the country are looking more closely at where people live and if they are more likely to lead a tight or loose life.

What's the Difference Between a 'Tight' and 'Loose' state?

Well, there's quit a bit, at least according to these folks. The University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Professor of Psychology Michele J. Gelfand had this to say:

Tightness-looseness also relates to average state "personality." Individuals in tighter states tend to exhibit higher "conscientiousness"—a trait associated with greater impulse control, conformity to social norms and self-constraint. Looseness is associated with higher "openness"—a trait associated with greater tolerance and curiosity, non-traditional values and beliefs, and preference for originality.

The authors of the study say that there are pros and cons to both. Whereas "tight states" tend to be more "socially stable, orderly and exhibit more personal self-control, they also tend to higher incarceration rates, greater discrimination, lower creativity, and lower happiness."

On the other hand "loose states" tend to be more "creative, have greater equality and tolerance, and be happier. But they also exhibit higher drug and alcohol abuse and greater social instability."

If you'd like to read more on the study you can do that right here.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins