July 21, 2014

How We Identified Your Typology Group

Identifying which group is the best fit for you involved matching the pattern of your answers to the political value questions with the responses of the typology groups defined using our national survey of 10,013 (see here  for a description of how we created the typology groups).

To match you up with a group, we used the following process. For each of the 23 questions on the quiz, we calculate how closely your response matches the average response to the question from respondents in each of the seven typology groups (bystanders are excluded from the quiz assignments). We then use those calculations to find the group that you are closest to, overall. (In more technical terms, we calculate the Euclidean distance: For each question we calculate the difference between you and each group and square it. We then sum all 23 of these squared distances and take the square root of that.)

We then assign you to the group you are “closest” to (that is, the one for which your Euclidean distance is the smallest). Most people, but not all, are good fits for their group. Some patterns of responses to the value questions just do not match up well with any of the groups. The procedure will assign everyone to the group that fits them best, even if they are not a very good fit with any of the groups. And some people may actually be good fits for more than one group, since some of the groups are quite similar in many of their views.

If you feel you do not fit well with the group you are assigned to, that does not mean there is anything wrong with your responses. Your set of values may just be unique! You may not fit well in any of the groups or you may share values with many of the groups.