There’s also a large-scale way to examine why people in cities are the way they are. Dr. Glenn Geher
, a professor of psychology at the State University of New York
at New Paltz, says, on an unconscious level, we’re all just trying to cope with the fact that we were never meant to congregate in cities in the first place. Yet, here we are, living on top of each other, trying to achieve our dreams in the concrete jungle. Geher studies evolutionary psychology, and says that for most of human history, we were living in small, nomadic groups that likely weren’t larger that 150 people. “Up until about 10,000 years ago, when agriculture took hold, humans were evolving to have social connections in smaller groups, and life today in big cities doesn’t match those historical conditions,” Geher explains. “Being surrounded by a high proportion of strangers is unnatural to the human mind historically.” Geher notes that some studies have shown
that people in larger cities have a tendency to struggle with mental health more frequently than those in smaller towns.“We’re fighting evolutionary mismatch, so it’s not surprising [that we struggle],” he says.