When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed up at a meeting with Wall Street investors in May wearing a hoodie, his sartorial choice sparked a flurry of headlines contrasting Silicon Valley's laid-back culture with the East Coast's insistence on formality.
Now, new research finds that this West Coast-East Coast culture clash isn't just media stereotyping. In fact, people living in the east coast city of Boston closely link their overall life satisfaction with how content they are with their own social status. In San Francisco, residents don't make the same connection, reflecting a more individualistic, free-to-be-me culture.
"Our ideas about who we are and how we should feel are shaped in quite dramatic ways by our local environment," said study researcher Victoria Plaut, a social and cultural psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley Law School. Broadly speaking, Plaut told LiveScience, the stereotypes are true: "If you examine the local world, you'll find that the East is more old and established, and the West is more new and free."
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