You've probably heard the phrase living life "hard and fast", but have you ever heard someone declare they're living tight or loose? First off, get your mind out of the gutter. In the hyper-political landscape we currently find ourselves in throughout the United States, researchers across the country have begun taking a closer look at where (and why) people live tight lives or loose lives.

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The Definition of 'Tight' or 'Loose' is Probably Not What You Think

According to the University of Maryland College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the divide between being a tight or loose state is rather substantial. The broad way to explain the difference is this: tight states typically believe in strong social norms, whether they are outdated or not. Tight states also hold strong opposition to deviance from those social norms and have an unwillingness to bend on them.

Loose states are just the opposite. Think of it as a go-with-the-flow mentality. Loose states are open to changes in social structure as well as a willingness to adopt or change laws. Rather than fight to keep an existing norm in place, loose states will get creative to adapt.

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Maine Ranked as the #5 'Loosest' State in the Nation

According to the New York Times, Maine was among the five loosest states in the country in a recent study. Maine is seen nationwide as a state open and willing to change on anything and everything, from political issues like the environmental change and individuals' rights to more localized issues like residential zoning and town ordinances.

On the surface, it may seem like another fancy way to say red versus blue, conservative versus liberal. But Maine is one of the most divided states politically in the nation, yet continues to be one of the most adaptable. That comes from the personality of the people.

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Maine's Culture is Why It's Consistently One of the 'Loosest' States

While Maine has remained one of the loosest states in the country, a handful of others have remained the tightest. Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas have been some of the tightest states in the nation for as long as these studies have been done.

Things You'll Only Understand If You Live In Maine

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