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Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology {PEW Research Report just out}

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posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:46 PM
All right, I went through the whole thing and pulled out some of the pairs I had some real trouble with.

Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world
Relying too much on military force to defeat terrorism creates hatred that leads to more terrorism

This is just the standard extreme dichotomy. If you approved of the use of any force for any reason, the standard comeback is that you just want to kill them all. On the converse, is the other statement. I think the realistic approach is somewhere in the middle, and I don't think we'll ever really be free of terrorism.

Racial discrimination is the main reason why many blacks can’t get ahead these days

Ok, I more or less agree with the pair of this one, but I can't believe that anyone would pick the other option as written. Really? You think that this country is still so racist that every single problem a black person has is totally caused by racism? I don't buy it. I'm not saying a black person doesn't run into racism at all, but not every problem they have is solely caused by racism.

Business corporations make too much profit
Most corporations make a fair reasonable amount of profit

This isn't even the issue. If we had a free market, not a crony one, there likely wouldn't be very many truly large corporations because they'd actually have to compete instead of using lawfare to destroy any competition before it starts.

Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return

If by that you mean they can have it easier than some people who work their butts off then sure, but I'm not sure that either category has what I would classify as easy in the sense this wording makes me think. Basically, when we talk about poor people having things we don't, it's because they don't have to pay for all the responsible stuff we do - they have government programs for that. That doesn't mean their lives are much easier than ours.

The growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values
The growing number of newcomers from other countries strengthens American society

It only does if we live in an America that refuses to make the newcomers assimilate into society. And whether or not you think unassimilated immigrants strengthens American society depends on what you think American society is supposed to be.

Society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority
Society is just as well off if people priorities other than marriage and children

How are these even a dichotomy?

Homosexuality should be accepted by society
Homosexuality should be discouraged by society

How about homosexuality should be tolerated by society?

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:56 PM
a reply to: solomons path


I think survey's like this are useful for giving us a somewhat meaningful snapshot of where the population is IN TERMS OF IDENTIFIABLE, DEFINABLE INTEREST GROUPS WITH CLUSTERS OF VALUES alike.

That's about it.

People change.

And to mention the grid again . . . any significant life experience will change how the grid will come out--even 'merely' taking the grid. LOL.

So, the survey gives us a briefly reasonably accurate snapshot of some dimensions and group clusters around those dimensions, values. That's about it.

Making too much of it . . . is . . . frustrating . . . and mostly worthless.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:58 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

OF COURSE, you make reasonable points--particularly in terms of your perspective.


The GOAL was to cluster folks in like-minded groups . . . to see how many groups and what the dimensions of those groups were.

THAT REQUIRED forced choice to give the desired descriptive result much meaning and umph.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

For example . . . on the homosexuality issue. You wanted a 3rd option of tolerated.

Someone else comes along and wants transgender included. etc. etc. etc. yada yada yada.

Pretty soon, NOTHING can be articulated about specific groups with clearly definable distinctives. You're back at the starting gate writing an biography about every individual's perspective.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 07:00 PM
You used too many big words for me
. With that said, I never wanted my direct choices to be in there, just something less black and white as far as the questions are concerned. With the transgender / homosexuality idea you brought up. going deep into smaller categories isn't what I wanted, just more choice of something a larger demographic could agree on that wasn't included.
edit on 26-6-2014 by Antipathy17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 07:04 PM

originally posted by: BO XIAN
a reply to: ketsuko

THAT REQUIRED forced choice to give the desired descriptive result much meaning and umph.

but that creates a skew that doesn't truly capture the ideology of the participant, No? I can't figure out where a conservative libertarian that doesn't trust government but loves capitalism would go. I guess you will make me take the survey X. S+F

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 08:42 PM
a reply to: BO XIAN

But that's just it, they determined what the predefined boxes would be and set out to try to force everyone into one or the other and then set out to word the phrases in such a way that you'd have to be pretty set and sure of what you knew in order to choose one way. I mean, they wrote words in ALL CAPS as if to say, are you really sure that's what you mean because only a fool or a hopeless case would choose that ... or someone who really thinks about what it actually means.

It was sort of disgusting in a sense.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 08:46 PM
a reply to: BO XIAN

And maybe we should stop trying to put people in boxes too. Did anyone stop to think of that? Maybe we aren't groups, but individuals full of nuance.

I will draw some flack for this, but Rush Limbaugh I feel is entirely correct here: "I belong to the smallest minority. The minority of one."

You can't say you respect minorities and not respect the individual with all his or her various differences. It is also a rough paraphrase of Ayn Rand, and Limbaugh is no Ayn Rand follower.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 09:41 PM
THX TO KETSUKO, HOMUCH4ANOTHER, ANTIPATHY17, et al for your quite understandable points.

I'm evidently not communicating very well . . . let me try again. Sorry.

1. In most respects, y'all are going to the vegetable vendor and complaining about the fruit. Or you're going to the house builder and complaining about the boat.

2. This survey was NOT DESIGNED TO and did NOT HAVE THE GOAL OF providing what you are asking for. It was an almost opposite goal.

3. That does not mean that your desires are bad. It does not mean that the survey was bad. It just means that your desires are NOT MATCHED to the survey.

4. IF you want to compare very personal and unique features of your values, personality, preferences, perspectives, constructions on reality, then the grid that I linked to above at the Univ of Calgary is the sort of instrument to use. Actually, it's the BEST one of all possible, that I know of.

5. IF you want to REDUCE the multiplicity--great variety of individual traits and differences INTO manageable CLUSTERS of individuals INTO IDENTIFIABLE GROUPS,


the 2 ITEM--FORCED CHOICE survey, like this one, IS THE BEST choice.

6. It's like I used to tell my students . . . in order to KNOW


--GOOD/BAD; BETTER/WORSE; BEST/WORST etc. you need to know 3 things:

3. WHAT IS THE CONTEXT (situation, setting, circumstance)?

IF the goal is to emphasize maximum for individual differences to be expressed, this survey is the opposite of affirming of that goal.

IF the goal is to reduce individual differences to MANAGEABLE amounts of categories to kind of wrap one's mind around the MAJOR clusters of SIMILAR VALUES, then this survey is the best route to that goal.


4. Trying to affirm and strengthen your marriage by going to a prostitute will not work. Trying to go to your wife for a cheap one night stand will not work. The goal sought is a very critical issue.

Is that ANY clearer?

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 09:45 PM
a reply to: Antipathy17

With the transgender / homosexuality idea you brought up. going deep into smaller categories isn't what I wanted, just more choice of something a larger demographic could agree on that wasn't included.

I'm not sure what you're asking for.

This survey DEMONSTRATED that IN TERMS OF the issues of this survey--THESE GROUPS

were more or less precisely THE LARGER DEMOGRAPHIC found in the general population. There were no others. All the people in the general population surveyed by this survey fell into THOSE GROUPS and no others.

YES, the FORCED CHOICE aspect meant some folks were somewhat shoehorned into a group they weren't ENTIRELY comfortable in. However, GIVEN THEIR VALUES as expressed in the survey THEY FIT their assigned category FAR BETTER than any other group found.

That's essentially it.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 09:50 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

Actually, that's NOT the PEW org's style or methodology. They do the survey's AND LOOK AT THE DATA.

THEY LET THE DATA define the groups found.

I haven't looked in detail at the methodology of this survey but my impression is that it's typical for them, as I've noted just above. So, actually, they did the opposite of what you thought they did.

We can say--big word coming--that the DEFINITIONS of the groups were ACTUARIALLY derived. That is, the DATA DEFINED THE GROUPS. The group identities and definitions ACTUALLY sprung directly from and only from the raw data as it clustered together into the different groups.

It's sort of like going to Hong Kong and taking a picture at a horse race and having the goal of assigning percentages to the skin colors of the viewers. The results would be derived from the actual numbers of individuals with each skin color. Nothing would predetermine that in terms of the photographer's expectations. All that would determine it would be who showed up in the picture--how many of each skin color.

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 09:57 PM

originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: BO XIAN

And maybe we should stop trying to put people in boxes too. Did anyone stop to think of that? Maybe we aren't groups, but individuals full of nuance.

Wellllll, I bristled at the labels in my PhD program, as did most of my classmates. We all resisted putting folks into boxes with labels.

However, we quickly realized that when it came to complex behaviors--if we didn't want to state 1-3 whole paragraphs every time we wanted to talk about PARANOID CHARACTER DISORDER, we'd better use a short-hand label--WITH THE UNDERSTANDING that people who fell within the parameters, boundaries, descriptions of that disorder would be within a RANGE of degrees on those variables that defined the disorder.

Basically, labels are a short-hand to speed communication.

The trouble is, some folks begin to treat human beings AS THOUGH they are an IT--THE LABEL--a kind of sterile OBJECT instead of a living, breathing, unique individual. And, of course, that was what I and my classmates were bristling at.

And, I suspect that's why you are bristling at this survey.

And, that was one reason I applauded George Kelly, the originator of the grid instrument . . . and one professor's clustering software that was great to analyze it. It let each individual be an individual yet provided a mechanism to compare people to each other and cluster them into groups.

I will draw some flack for this, but Rush Limbaugh I feel is entirely correct here: "I belong to the smallest minority. The minority of one."

That's GREAT . . . IF . . . that's the goal, the priority, the focus.

You can't say you respect minorities and not respect the individual with all his or her various differences. It is also a rough paraphrase of Ayn Rand, and Limbaugh is no Ayn Rand follower.

The survey is not about disrespecting or respecting the individual. IT mostly has nothing to do with that issue. It's about being able to talk about a

MANAGEABLE number of readily definable groups that the whole population can be sorted into.

And to look at how those groups are similar and different from other groups within that general population.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 03:34 AM
I got business conservative.

After reading it I'd say that's a fair assessment of my views.

Pretty neat.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 05:09 AM
The Pew Charitable Trusts started out as a conservative group.
The founders later relatives that now serve on the board of Directors have become left wing liberals.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 10:04 AM
a reply to: terriblyvexed

Thanks for your kind reply.

I felt my group label was accurate. And, the spot on the continuum within that group was accurate, too . . . and took into account the many items I answered in a contrary direction from the general group norm.

Did you think that were you were on the graph comparing the group to the general population and your spot on the continuum within the group--was that accurate in your sense, too?

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 10:05 AM
a reply to: ANNED

Interesting. I'd wondered about that. It had appeared to me over the years some change on such scores had occurred but I'd never tracked it down. Thanks.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 10:13 AM
Perhaps the

"reduce the population to a manageable number of groups to talk about" is not clear enough.

When we look at a whole population . . . We can have a global--LOOK AT THE WHOLE approach . . .

Welll, we can say, e.g., that the population is largely white with a largely Christian philosophical/religious perspective that's mostly Protestant made up mostly of shallow 'Christians' in name only with a smaller percentage of deeper, more authentic Christians.

That's one level of some slight specificity.

Or, we could be more general and say--The population has a lot of white people who are mostly Christian of doubtful sincerity.

But NEITHER SUMMARY are very informative.

The first one could be adjusted a little bit toward more specific information by using better defined terms but it would still be rather general.

Now, one could take the very INDIVIDUALIZED approach and randomly take 100 people out of the population and interview each individual IN-DEPTH and write up a 50 page biography about each person. That would be much more "fair" and "accurate" to where each individual stood.

But who's going to read all those 50 page biographies?

THEREFORE, forced choice surveys are used to reduce the general population to relatively few groups that are easier to talk about and compare with each other and with what happens in that general population and probably why . . . which is the goal of psychology--to understand and predict.

Am I making it any clearer, folks or just muddying the water????

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 10:21 AM

originally posted by: ketsuko
I found their quiz absolutely stupid. The options presented were full of loaded language, black and white and had no nuance whatsoever.

I quit the quiz at question 10. Like you, the quiz was presenting questions in a black in white context with no shades of grey in between. The questions all seemed to be based on the status quo as if there are no other alternatives.

For example,

Government Regulation of Business is necessary to protect the public interests.
Government Regulation of Business usually does more harm than good.

I believe in regulations such as keep business in check from pissing in my rivers or skies, or keep Wall Street contained, but the majority of the regulations we have are actually harmful to the citizens that favor Big Business against Small Business competition.

That does not mean I want to throw the baby out with the bath water and get rid of all regulations.
Why not expand it to not just regulations pertaining to business but to everyone.

Get rid of the regulatory bodies and policies of police, military and so on and see how well that goes.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 10:48 AM
a reply to: BO XIAN

Interesting quiz.

I definitely came in as a hard-pressed skeptic and I'm glad that makes up only 13% of the population because to the extent that group grows, the problems in this country will only get worse.

My prediction? Hard-Pressed skeptics will become and ever larger part of the population.

posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 11:03 AM
a reply to: BO XIAN
Bo . . . it's not you. You have explained the goals and methodology just fine. The issue here lies in the respondents. You should know from your background in psychology that while we don't like to be "separated" from the group and have deep seeded needs for acceptance, belonging, etc.; we also refuse to admit that the group has influence on us. It's why people get mad at stereotypes. You see it on the boards in every religion thread. As soon as someone uses "Christian" and points out a negative about the ideology . . . every poster that defends or self-identifies themselves as "Christian" quickly asserts their individuality and claim "that's not me, though".

Asch's studies in the 50's show very clearly that the individual will fight to retain individuality within a small majority. In this case, the respondents are being asked to complete this survey on-line . . . providing no confederates or group dynamic. It also presents a very simple task (almost too simple), which makes it easier to reject the options presented.

You are also seeing a good exercise in an individual's desire to maintain control, too much time to think about resistance, time to think about the legitimacy of the authority. I also think it's very telling that this thread is almost a case study in reactance . . . in fact, many have even stated that they "refused" or "could not" even complete the survey, in order to preserve their independence.

I'm not sure of your geographic background, but this seems all too common for a site populated by "westerners", especially Americans.

Ask a predominantly Asian audience to "take the survey" and I bet you get very few, if any, of the reactions seen here.

(Should be noted . . . I'm talking about culture, not "ethnicity" above)
edit on 6/27/14 by solomons path because: (no reason given)

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