Say it ain't Pittsburgh ever again
How big a deal was it here? A video highlighting the whole thing: Pittsburgh's No. 1.
I have posted this before, but the disbelief in that result goes a lot deeper than even what Gary gets into. It really is a case study in what we call aggregation theory. The cognitive dissonance of Pittsburgh's top ranking prompted Professor of Psychology Geoff Loftus of Washington University to write an article in Psychology Today in 1985 about how screwed up the ranking system must have been. You can read it yourself: Say it ain't Pittsburgh.
Basically he explained how survey based ordinal rankings of preferences really added diminishing information beyond the top picks. Pittsburgh didn't really come out on top in 1985 because it excelled in any one category, it was sort of moderately ok across the board. Thus, according to Professor Loftus, the Pittsburgh #1 ranking was really an artifact of over-interpretation of the data. Just one contrarian voice? Maybe, but it turns out that the Places Rated publisher David Savageau was so taken by Professor Loftus' critique of the system that he brought him onboard and became co-author of the almanac in 1996.