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Hey, We're Okay

Written by Dennis Sun
        Last week I read an article in the Casper newspaper that provided the results of a study showing people in different geographic regions differ psychologically. Now, I know we’ve all been holding our breath waiting on the unveiling of this study, but it was good to read what the researchers found out about Wyoming.
    After reading the article I decided to take a deeper look at it and just who wrote it. Although some people from the University of Texas at Austin were involved, I think it mostly came from the University of Cambridge in England. The abstract said “drawing from research in psychology and other social sciences, we present a theoretical account of the mechanisms through which geographic variation in psychological characteristics emerge and persist within regions, and we propose a model for conceptualizing the processes through which such characteristics become expressed in geographic social indicators.” Whoa, this is some heady stuff. This article was published in the Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association of Psychological Science. This is not something we read a lot in Wyoming, but I can see in some circles they do and that is alright, I guess.
    The study went on to say Wyoming is second to last, only ahead of North Dakota, in being open to new ideas. We are first in the nation when it comes being extroverts. We rate low in agreeableness. Extroversion is defined as how outgoing and socially energetic people are. Agreeableness is rated on how friendly and cooperative people are. So we are not social or agreeable, but we are friendly and introverted. Simpler events stimulate us like nature or natural activities. The study said we were low in conscientiousness. I really don’t buy that, but I guess we can blame our ancestors on who we are or why we settled in Wyoming.
    You can tell the researchers never went to a branding or shipping and witnessed all the neighbors helping one another. Then again, maybe they were there and listened to everyone disagree about how to get it done. What I don’t understand is how one Western state is low and a neighboring state is so high in a category. I would have to believe that the regions would be bigger than just states. It was good to hear that we are not neurotic but kind of laid back. That reminds me…I need to show the study to my family and those at the Roundup to prove that “couch time and a nap” is hereditary and not my fault. I just knew this study contained some results I could use.
    On another issue, this past week we all welcomed Curt and Diane Cox and their new twin boys back to Wyoming. As you may remember, the twins tried to arrive mid-August during the Wyoming State Fair, but weren’t scheduled for birth until October. Diane has been on bed rest at St Luke’s in Denver with Curt and her mother supporting her for the past month and a half. The twins decided to behave themselves and wait until a little closer to their scheduled arrival. We’re all proud of the whole family and glad to have them back in Wyoming. Dennis