Apparently I’m a Canadian

Or more exactly, I share world-view and values with a lot of Canadians…Dave Pollard points to the survey at Fire & Ice: The US, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values and notes that median scores for Americans are in the upper-left quadrant, whilst median scores for Canadians are in the lower-right and the gap is growing.

The author of the survey explains the result chart as follows:

Your personal position can be interpreted along two major explanatory dimensions, or axes of social values. The first axis of explanation of social values, shown here as the vertical or y-axis, describes a general orientation toward the acceptance versus rejection of long-standing social norms in society, that is, an outlook that is either deferential to traditional mores and institutions, labelled “Authority”, or one that is more modern and questioning, labelled “Individuality”. The second axis, shown here as the horizontal or x-axis, describes a general outlook toward, and valuing of, pragmatism and competitiveness, labelled “Survival”, or a world view that is more idealistic and postmodern, here labelled “Fulfillment.”

Taken together, these two axes form four general quadrants of explanation or meaning underlying people’s values. People in the upper left are fundamentally motivated by needs for stability, security and status, and exhibit a strong work ethic. Those in the upper right most value ethics, duty, and responsibility within their families and communities. Meanwhile, those with values that place them in the lower right primarily search for personal control, and are open-minded, flexible and idealistic. And finally, individuals in the lower left pursue, above all else, novelty, excitement and risk.

Image showing my results from Fire and Ice Survey

Having dutifully completed the survey I seem to come out firmly in the “Idealism and Autonomy” quadrant. Apparently the signatures of this quadrant are:

  • Key Characteristics
    • Self-reliant and in control of their own destiny
    • Idealistic and open-minded
    • Rejecting out-dated norms and institutions
  • Fundamental Motivations and Values
    • Personal Control
    • Question Authority
    • Global Consciousness
    • Adaptability to Complexity
    • Flexible Families

I don’t feel uncomfortable with those values, but I am surprised at the extreme placement of my result – I don’t consider myself an extreme example of any of those views when compared with others I know. It would be interesting to see a similar survey calibrated to include the UK and other European countries…

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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