People Tend To Prefer The North

by Christopher Paul on July 11, 2013

In cities, more people want to live north and feel it’s is better than living on the southern side.

The location bias likely boils down to psychology and how we view the words "north" and "south," Prof. Meier says. Although north and south are abstract concepts, we tend to understand them in spatial terms, with north meaning up and south meaning down. We then take it a step further and tie the two words to emotion, where up means good and down means bad—"feeling up or feeling down, on cloud nine or down in the dumps," he explains. Pop culture furthers this idea; think of Billy Joel’s 1983 song about a blue-collar "downtown man" in love with a high-class "uptown girl."

Of course it doesn’t just extend to cities.

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