1 EAGLETON NOTES: Where in Britain Would You be Happiest?

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Where in Britain Would You be Happiest?

That is a question asked by the BBC on its Breakfast programme this week. It invited people to take a test at a BBC web page . 

The introduction states:
Until now, we've decided on where we should live based on things like job, family, friends, schools, colleges, countryside and nightlife. But now new research suggests different districts of Britain have distinct personality traits. And how well our personality fits with the people around us can contribute to our happiness.
The test below will reveal your personality traits and based on the research, it will predict the place in Britain that would make you happiest, or least happy, based solely on your personality profile.
I rarely if ever participate in any of the many personality and other surveys that abound but this one made me curious. So I answered the questions with the following results:




I was totally astounded by the fact that the result suggested that I should be living somewhere down in the south of England. I am, after all, a Northerner by birth and mentality and very much more northern by inclination since I moved to the Scottish Island of Lewis four decades ago and where, by choice, I have lived ever since (when I haven't been in New Zealand). The Isle of Lewis is the largest island in Eileen Siar (The Western Isles).

So it came as a massive surprise when I discovered that the worst location for my personality was ...... where I live


So the next day I decided to take the test again. Interestingly I found it very difficult to recall what I'd said the first time but, having read the explanation of the personality traits (I should have done that the first time), I tried to be more considered. The result?


Where on earth, I wondered, is Harborough. Ah. Market Harborough in Leicestershire. The Midlands. No. Sorry. I'm not from the Midlands and could no more imagine living there than the South of England. Well perhaps a little more.


But it still thinks that the worst place for me is where I live.


Which leads me to wonder what on earth the traits of the people of the place where live really are and whether they answered after reading the notes. For example the definition of 'openness' as I first thought of it is not the definition of openness as defined. I suspect that the whole process is rather flawed.

Did any other of my British readers take the test by any chance. 

PS If anyone from outwith the UK takes the test you'll need to give a UK postcode to get your result. L14 3LW is a UK postcode. In fact it's the one where I was born.  You see that thing about being an adherent to the rules doesn't exactly fit me. In reality I've been a rebel most of my life. Obviously a rather closet one.

37 comments:

  1. Now I am curious and think I want to take the test. I'll use my mother-in-law's postcode in Ripon.
    Such surveys depends on so many things: how are the criteria understood, how truthful are people's answers, and so on. Therefore, just stay where you are, Graham (not that you considered moving after you had the results of the survey anyway!) - and keep blogging from Lewis :-)

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    1. Of course you are correct, Meike, and it does make me wonder about their validity sometimes.

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  2. I can't believe that you didn't get a little avatar to stick on your blog. It sounds a load of BBC to me.

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    1. Yes, Adrian, I think it's all a bit fanciful and, in any case, does one necessarily want to live with other people who are alike. A good mix is better I think.

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  3. Please note that between the tests you still seemed to be getting happier where you are! ;) I had to try of course and apparently I would be happiest in Craven, Yorkshire Dales, and least in Newham, London. No big surprise there. Never heard of Craven but I do have kind of a soft spot for Yorkshire tv series ;) I borrowed the postcode of postcrosser in Shropsire...

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    1. Well, Monica, at least you've proved to be a true Northerner (even if it happened to be Yorkshire and not Lancashire).

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  4. This is a really fun activity. Someone should make this for other countries as well :)

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. I'm sure there are some university academics around in other countries who would be delighted to get some kudos out of this Mersad.

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  5. Interesting. (from Australia) I got Clackmannshire in Scitland as best and Newnham? London (where the Olympics was) as worst. My two years studying in UK in the 70s certainly gave me a northern perspective. I see they base it on the Costa/McCrae traits. I prefer the Jungian theory behind the MBTI idea of preferences (which are not fixed traits - in particular situations you can choose to go with or against your preferences). Jean

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    1. Jean you are way ahead of me in your knowledge of these things although I did do a bit of this at Uni half a century ago. Again I'm glad to see that you have Northern tendencies.: just personal bias on my part I'm afraid.

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  6. I attempted the test with the result that the best place for me to live is apparently Sheffield, Yorkshire and the worst place is Lancashire. (Only kidding - I will now have a go!)

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    1. LATER - Best place for me is apparently the Craven area of The Yorkshire Dales and the worst place is The Isle of Purbeck on the south coast. Actually I like Craven and the towns of Settle and Skipton within it.

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  7. So much for the accuracy of these tests! Of course tests aren't that accurate for rebels. Rebels rule!!!

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  8. Just did the test and I got West Dorset for where I'd be happiest - not too far from where I am now :-)

    Saying that, my happiest score was only a little higher than your least happiest score so you must have more sensible personality traits than I. Nothing that living in the countryside wouldn't fix I reckon.

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    1. Well, Helen, it would be lovely to think that you might one day live in the countryside. For me it was one of the best decisions I took in my life.

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  9. What fun! I'll have to see if I can take the test, using one of our rellies' post codes. Without even seeing the questions, though, I can see how I do/don't fit with their definitions of qualities:
    Openness - yes, I like to read, visit museums, see new places, learn new things. So I guess I'm okay there,
    Conscientiousness - mostly I follow the rules (when I can figure out what they are, as they seem to keep changing), and I'm not afraid to work hard.
    Extraversion - ah, now here's where I come a cropper. I like people as individuals, I'm just not a great lover of crowds and will avoid certain places and events which I know are going to be mobbed.
    Agreeableness - I try to be concerned for others.
    Neuroticisim - definitely! I tend to be anxious, and to rehash things in my head, wishing I'd said/hadn't said something. So where does that put me? Maybe in the middle of a Suffolk cow field? I'll have to see if I can take the test to find out! xoxox

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    1. DeeDee I'm with you absolutely on Extraversion. In fact apart from the fact that I'm not an anxious person I'm wondering where we differed so much.

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    2. I'm not surprised - I love all your family! :)

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  10. Hmm. Just took the test. According to the results, I would be happiest in Sedgemoor on the Somerset Levels. Next would be where I said I was in Essex. And the best place near to my sister-in-law's home in Essex is Maldon - a town I like very much for its waterfront. So there we have it. I guess I needn't move into a Suffolk barn just yet! xoxo

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    1. DeeDeeD Malden's a charming little place as you said. I'm sure you'll be very happy there!

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    2. I probably would be just fine there. I will have to check out the bakery situation first, before I move there though! :)

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  11. "He's a rebel and he'll never be any good"...you are making me sing that song!

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    1. Gosh that's a blast from the past Kay!

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  12. A "closet rebel"....now I've heard it all GB!!!
    Half of these personality tests are not designed for Geminians anyhow....we have two personalities, so cheer up and forgetaboutit.

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    1. Oh I'm very cheerful Virginia. As you say we Gemini's have difficulty knowing which personality is in play on any particular day!

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  13. I don't think I'll try this as I'm very happy in Devizes, although too far from family. But my niece is moving into a house in Penge today, and from that enchanting little book it's a pretty good place to be. Thank you, again!

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    1. You are all right Frances. I won't be moving from Lewis either.

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  14. After reading your post I took the test and the answer was absolutely idiotic. Craven, for heavens sake! I have been there and remember particularly disliking it, sadly, although the area around it was quite nice. But living there? No! I would be clawing at the walls to get away, if there were indeed any walls, since I remember it as a very open place on the fells.

    I didn't check how suitable my real home is, which is London, but I know that I would never consider settling anywhere else, much as I like parts of Suffolk.

    I thought the results of this test were pretty silly when I read them - I think they are even sillier now!

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    1. It does look a very open and wild area Jenny. But then so is Lewis! I suspect that you and I would be equally not at home in each other's territory and that our results were also equally silly.

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  15. I did a similar kind of test on FB not long ago, but with the purpose of them guessing my nationality. I did it three times. The first two rounds they insisted I was from Latin America or southern Europe (I forget which countries, I think Brazil and Spain). The third time I managed to get British, and I decided that was close enough...

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    1. Well that's a bit more drastic than my results Monica!

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  16. After reading your post I did take the test for fun (I live near Atlanta, GA so I used a friend’s address in the UK.) The result was that I should live on the Isle of Wight – which is curious because I spent a holiday there years ago.

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    1. Well well Vagabonde at least you know what you'd be facing. You didn't say whether you felt suited to the Isle of Wight.

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  17. thank for your visit! The 'bath water' referred to was punch which was frothy from ginger ale! My doctor and I were both pleased that I got through most of February with little of the usual SAD I experience most winters.

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    1. Frothy ginger ale? Hmmm. Certainly interesting Norma. I'm glad that the usual SAD wasn't too bad this year.

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