August 24, 2012

Political Party Quiz: How We Placed You

The Political Party scale was determined by selecting a set of questions from the Pew Research Center’s 2012 American political values survey representing a range of political values that are each consistently associated with party identification. The scale is a weighted sum of answers to each question, with individual questions weighted by the strength of their correlation with party identification among voters in the spring 2012 political values survey. To determine the placement of individual groups along the scale, the mean of the scores for all members of each group was calculated. Each scale is centered on the score of the average registered voter, which is the mean score for all voters.

To determine where you fit on the Political Party scale, your responses to the 12 political values questions are scored and weighted in the same way as the survey data. Because the theoretical range of the scale is much wider than the actual distribution of most of the public, the tails of the scale (scores beyond the value of the mean score of the “most ideological” group identified in the survey, at both ends of the scale) are compressed using a logarithmic function. This compression makes it easier to see the differences between groups in the graphs.

This same technique is applied for the overall, economic, and social scales. If the ideological direction of your social and economic scores are different, your overall score will reflect this (e.g., if you have more liberal social views and more conservative economic views, or vice-versa, your overall score may place you closer to the mid-point of the scale.). The economic scale questions collectively carry about twice as much weight in the overall scale as the social scale questions, consistent with previous findings about the strength of the relationship between party affiliation and economic and social values.

Questions

Economic

  • There needs to be stricter laws and regulations to protect the environment
  • The government should help more needy people even if it means going deeper in debt
  • Labor unions are necessary to protect the working person
  • Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good
  • Poor people have become too dependent on government assistance programs
  • Business corporations make too much profit
  • The government needs to do more to make health care affordable and accessible

Social

  • The growing number of newcomers from other countries threaten traditional American customs and values
  • One parent can bring up a child as well as two parents together
  • I never doubt the existence of God
  • Gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally1
  • Abortion should be illegal in all or most cases1

This quiz is meant to provide a sense of where your political values fit relative to key groups in American politics. To explore more of the underlying data, including the partisan distribution of responses to these and other values items see the American Values Survey Question Database.

  1. Both the gay marriage and abortion questions in this online test use a “completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, completely disagree” format. The questions in the survey these calculations are based upon are worded somewhat differently (see Q19FA and Q21FB in the Values topline for exact question wording.)