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Fifty States of Anxiety - The New York Times

An article, Fifty States of Anxiety in the NY Times annoyed me a bit, and it highlighted what happens when people do not look at all the relevant variables. It also seems that the author seems to have expressed his opinion in a way that was not supported by the data. The fact that his analysis did not match his data indicates his bias.

My comment:
As I mentioned in another post, there are regional differences in personality, and if you only know anxiety and red-state blue dichotomies the map makes no sense. What you need are 3 dimensions of the Big Five personality inventory, openness to experience, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. Also, you need to know that the strongest predictor of liberal leaning is openness, while there is also a slight correlation with conscientiousness and conservatism. Neuroticism has no relationship with political orientation.
When one realizes that the strong openness areas are the Pacific and NorthEast regions, and the strong conscientiousness region is the midwest and south, the map makes sense. Neuroticism, while unrelated to politics, is highest in the Northeast, and that explains the large level of anxiety-related searches; the locals here are worriers by nature, and Trump bumps that anxiety level up a few notches. Worry is what they do.

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Links to sample data, as well as to source references, are at the end of this entry.

Example Code

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Example Code
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Example Code
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Example Results
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