Residential Mobility Affects Self-Concept, Group Support, and Happiness of Individuals and Communities

Talhelm, T., & Oishi, S. (2014). Residential mobility affects self-concept, group support, and happiness of individuals and communities. In P. J. Rentfrow (Ed.), Geographical psychology: Exploring the interaction of environment and behavior (pp. 219–239). American Psychological Association. https://

28 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018 Last revised: 8 Apr 2023

See all articles by Thomas Talhelm

Thomas Talhelm

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Shigehiro Oishi

University of Virginia - Psychology

Date Written: July 22, 2018

Abstract

Evidence across several studies leads to the conclusion that having moved and living in an unstable community are associated with some of psychology’s most central variables: happiness, self-concept, and altruism. We review evidence that mobile communities and mobile people have more individualistic self-concepts, identify with groups more conditionally, and support the local community less. People who moved as children have lower satisfaction with life—unless they are extraverted. We also show that extraverted US states are happier when they are mobile, and introverted states are happier when they are stable. We explain how mobility can have two different effects depending on whether we are talking about how many times people have moved (individual mobility) or what percent of the local population has moved (community mobility). Furthermore, regional and national differences in mobility help explain important regional and cultural psychological differences.

Keywords: mobility, well-being, happiness, community, regional differences, geographic differences

JEL Classification: R23,Z13

Suggested Citation

Talhelm, Thomas and Oishi, Shigehiro, Residential Mobility Affects Self-Concept, Group Support, and Happiness of Individuals and Communities (July 22, 2018). Talhelm, T., & Oishi, S. (2014). Residential mobility affects self-concept, group support, and happiness of individuals and communities. In P. J. Rentfrow (Ed.), Geographical psychology: Exploring the interaction of environment and behavior (pp. 219–239). American Psychological Association. https://, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3217715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3217715

Thomas Talhelm (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/t/thomas-talhelm

Shigehiro Oishi

University of Virginia - Psychology ( email )

United States

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