32 our measures of pace of life were variations on

This preview shows page 169 - 172 out of 280 pages.

32 Our measures of pace of life were variations on those in the 31- country study. First, we again clocked the walking speeds of pedes- trians, walking alone, over 60-foot distances in downtown locations during business hours. Second, as an indicator of work speed, we timed how long it took bank clerks to either give change, in set denominations, for two $20.00 bills, or to give us two $20.00 bills for change. (Requests for making change were al- ternated with those for giving change simply so that experi- menters would not be running around with wads of money in their pockets.) 33 Third, as a measure of people’s concern with clock time, we counted the proportion of randomly selected men and women in downtown areas who were wearing wristwatches during business hours. In most cases subjects were wearing short sleeves, allowing us to easily observe whether they were wearing watches. People in long sleeves were approached and asked the time of day. We also added a fourth indicator of the pace of life— talking speed. In each city we tape-recorded the responses of postal clerks to a standard question—to explain the difference be- tween regular mail, certified mail, and insured mail. Later, re- search assistants played back the tapes and calculated “articulation rates” by dividing the number of uttered syllables by the total time of the response. W H E R E I S L I F E FA S T E S T ? 147
Fast and Slow Cities in the U.S.A. Lower ranks indicate faster speeds and more watches worn. Overall Walking Bank Talking Watches Pace 34 Speed Speed Speed Worn Boston, MA 1 2 6 6 2 Buffalo, NY 2 5 7 15 4 New York, NY 3 11 11 28 1 Salt Lake City, UT 4 4 16 12 11 Columbus, OH 5 22 17 1 19 Worcester, MA 6 9 22 6 6 Providence, RI 7 7 9 9 19 Springfield, MA 8 1 15 20 22 Rochester, NY 9 20 2 26 7 Kansas City, MO 10 6 3 15 32 St. Louis, MO 11 15 20 9 15 Houston, TX 12 10 8 21 19 Paterson, NJ 13 17 4 11 31 Bakersfield, CA 14 28 13 5 17 Atlanta, GA 15 3 27 2 36 Detroit, MI 16 21 12 34 2 Youngstown, OH 17 13 18 3 30 Indianapolis, IN 18 18 23 8 24 Chicago, IL 19 12 31 3 27 Philadelphia, PA 20 30 5 22 11 Louisville, KY 21 16 21 29 15 Canton, OH 22 23 14 26 15 Knoxville, TN 23 25 24 30 11 San Francisco, CA 24 19 35 26 5 Chattanooga, TN 25 35 1 32 24 Dallas, TX 26 26 28 15 28 Oxnard, CA 27 30 30 23 7 Nashville, TN 28 8 26 24 33 San Diego, CA 29 27 34 18 9 East Lansing, MI 30 14 33 12 34 148 A G E O G R A P H Y O F T I M E
Fresno, CA 31 36 25 17 19 Memphis, TN 32 34 10 19 34 San Jose, CA 33 29 29 30 22 Shreveport, LA 34 32 19 33 28 Sacramento, CA 35 33 32 36 26 Los Angeles, CA 36 24 36 35 13 The Speedy Northeast In general, our results confirm the widespread impression that the Northeastern United States is fast-paced, whereas the West (more accurately, California, which accounted for eight of the nine west- ern cities) is more relaxed. The three fastest cities, and seven of the nine fastest, were from the Northeast. Northeasterners gener- ally walk faster, give change faster, talk faster, and are more likely to wear watches than people in other U.S. cities.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture