The Political Inclination Quotient®, or PIQ Score®, is the first political research methodology to objectively calculate the how politically liberal/ centrist/ conservative an individual is. Using an individual's responses to the patented PIQ Score Test, an aggregate value - called a PIQ Score, ranging from PIQ-0 to PIQ-100 - is calculated.
By the way: the word "PIQ" is pronounced "pique" (or peak), which means "to arouse an emotion or provoke to action," or "to excite" as in to pique one's interest or curiosity; we hope PIQ Score piques your interest in the political arena in which are already a participant.
From the time we are children, Americans are familiar numerical ratings that rank us with our peers: school grades, SATs, college GPAs, FICO Scores, BMI, etc. But until now, there's never been a way to rank our social and political beliefs as they compare to those held by our friends, family members, colleagues at work or school, etc. The PIQ Score test solves that problem by providing a research-driven means to objectively calculate the how liberal/ moderate/ conservative an individual is, using the 65-question test to determine a definitive score. Similarly, our Blog area enables members to connect with like-minded people, or engage in thought-provoking discussion with those holding differing views. We see our Blog area â€“ which is written almost entirely by our member community â€“ as being a forum for the thoughtful, and sometimes vigorous, exchange of ideas the enables everyone learns from the ensuing dialogue.
The PIQ Score test and Website was developed by a team of politically-inclined people, who see the value in establishing â€śCommon Groundâ€ť for a civil, thoughtful discussion on the issues facing America. The team research professionals, business people, educators, students, retired political operatives, and even a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Experimental Psychology. Professionally, they are private and public sector employees of all ages, with Democrats and Republicans equally represented in the group. Their common denominator is a passion for politics, and a desire to help voters better align their personal political views with those of political parties and candidates.
Most people complete the test in less than 10 minutes. The more decisive you are, the faster it goes... and the more accurate the results, since you're following your instincts, instead of overanalyzing your response.
The testing methodologies employed to calculate an individual's PIQ Score are used in scientific research projects undertaken in political polling, market research, consumer behavior analysis, and other survey methods. Thus, the resulting PIQ Score is a surprisingly insightful portrayal of your true Political Inclination, especially given its brevity. However, it would be a stretch to call it scientifically conclusive, as any type of attitudinal research is an inherently inexact science... especially when using a test designed to take 10 minutes or less to complete.
Registration benefits members in three ways:
1) It helps maintain a civil and appropriate dialogue among the PIQ Score community. We promote the thoughtful exchange of ideas in an environment that â€“ while sometime contentious â€“ is always respectful of others. Registration allows us to identify members who write offensive or inappropriate posts so they can be blocked from posting in the future. (Read the PIQ Score Blog Rules)
2) PIQ Score is fun and interesting way to learn about your private Political Inclinations, and those of your friends, family, and colleagues with whom you share them. Registration and password protection a) allows us to securely deliver your personal PIQ Score results to you; b) allows you to easily long back into the system for Blogging purposes; and c) Using your email addresses as a personal identifier -- and maintaining a "one-email-one-PIQ Persona" policy -- helps protect your privacy and on-line identity.
3) PIQ Score is a research project; our data could become skewed if the same people kept using the same email addresses to take the PIQ Score Test over-and-over. Registration helps to preserve the integrity of our research.
The PIQ Score test asks so many questions because, beyond your stand on issue, there are many factors that can influence your political inclination: your age, where you grew up, where you live now, what you do for a living, your income, etc. Providing this information helps to calculate the most accurate PIQ Score for you... and, again, the information will never be used shared with third parties or to identify you.
It doesn't matter; there are no "right" answers to the PIQ Score Test questions... just answer honestly which of two opinions presented you tend to agree with more. You begin the test at the midpoint of the 0-to-100 scale; where you end up on the scale will be determined by your own political opinions. Scientifically, what's most telling is your deviation from the mid-point of the scale: If you attain a PIQ Score that's 10 points from the mid-point - either a PIQ-40 (leaning liberal) or a PIQ-60 (leaning conservative) - that a relatively mild deviation. But you are 40 points from the mid-point - achieving a PIQ Score of PIQ-10 (extremely liberal) or PIQ-90 (extremely conservative) - you are very set in your liberal or conservative beliefs.
It's easier to explain it this way: "Moderates" are people with PIQ Score of PIQ-50, or a 5-point deviation either way... so, PIQ-45 to PIQ-55 is considered "Moderate." Everyone else is categorized as follows:
PIQ-0 to PIQ-19 ---> Extremely Liberal
PIQ-20 to PIQ-32 ---> Liberal
PIQ-33 to PIQ-44 ---> Leans Liberal
PIQ-45 to PIQ-55 ---> Centrist /Moderate
PIQ-56 to PIQ-67 ---> Leans Conservative
PIQ-68 to PIQ-80 ---> Conservative
PIQ-81 to PIQ-100 ---> Extremely Conservative
Many of the responses were extracted from two documents: the 2008 national platforms for the Democratic Party (59 pages) and Republican Party (67 pages.) These documents were obviously written independently of one another, yet their content addresses the identical topics - but from two entirely different perspectives; so comparing and contrasting them yielded obvious, verifiable content for the PIQ Score survey. Other responses were adapted from speeches, news reports, ads and other materials by politicians and their staffs; the rest were composite positions formulated by political, social, and environmental groups reflective of Democratic or Republican Party positions.
For two reasons: first, the PIQ Score uses a research methodology called a "semantic differential" scale, designed to measure the emotional connection the respondent feels towards one response or the other. The more extreme the choices over the course of all questions the more accurate a picture that emerges. The second reason is due to the fact the positions held by voters on the left and the right- like abortion, gun control, taxes, etc. - are so polarized in real life; the survey is written to reflect the great distance between the two.
Because the responses provided represent the most extreme opposing viewpoints, it's possible that your opinion will fall somewhere in-between the extremes. When that occurs, just select the "Neither/Somewhere between the two" option. For the most accurate PIQ Score, use the "Neither" button a little as possible; it's kind of a cop-out.
That is called "Single-issue voting," and it means that an individual votes exclusively for the candidate who shares their position on a single issue important to them - say, pro-choice (favoring abortion) or pro-life (prohibiting abortion) - and largely ignores that candidates stand on all other issues. Some voters feel that it shows their commitment to the issue that they feel is the most important; other feels that it is short-sighted, and overlooks all of other issues upon which they would otherwise disagree with the candidate's views.
The PIQ Score test automatically normalizes for single-issue voting - though it does hit "Hot Button" issues (abortion, gun control, taxes and spending) several times in multiple ways - thus it gives a more balanced interpretation of the respondent's overall political inclination, beyond any one issue.
1. "Blue states" historically vote for Democratic (or "progressive") candidates; on average, in the past 30+ years more than 55% of the votes cast went to the Democratic Presidential nominee. Depending on voting results, these states - plus Washington D.C. - have State PIQ Scores ranging from 0-to-44. The most "progressive" state is Hawaii, with a State PIQ Score of 42 (unless you include Washington D.C., which has a State PIQ Score of 12.)
2. "Purple states" are more neutral, supporting candidates from either party, depending on the year. According voting results the past 30+ years, these states have State PIQ Scores ranging from 45-to-55... five points on either side of the median score of 50. Thus, they are are called "Swing States," and the largest of them include California (55 Electoral Votes), Florida (27 Electoral Votes), Pennsylvania and Illinois (21 Electoral Votes), and Ohio (20 Electoral Votes).
3. "Red states" historically vote for Republican (or "conservative") candidates; on average, in the past 30+ years more than 55% of the votes cast went to the Republican Presidential nominee. Depending on voting results, these states have State PIQ Scores ranging from 56-to-100. The most "conservative" state is Utah, with a State PIQ Score of 67.
State PIQ Scores were calculated using Presidental election results dating back more than 30 years, as published by the Federal Election Commission. Starting with the 1980 Presidential Election and including the 2008 Presidential Election, election results for each state have been tabulated based upon the percentage of votes cast for the either Democratic (liberal) or Republican (conservative) candidate, and averaged over the eight election cycles (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008) that have transpired.
In election years where a third-party candidate garnered more than 5% of the votes cast - 1980 (John Anderson, 6.61%); 1992 (Ross Perot, 18.91%); and 1996 (Ross Perot, 8.40%) - those Independent votes were evenly divided between the two major party candidates in order to adjust the PIQ Score for each state. While the argument has been made that Anderson's candidacy probably handicapped the Democratic nominee in 1980 (Jimmy Carter) - and that Ross Perot's candidacy handicapped Republican nominees in 1992 (George Bush) and 1996 (Bob Dole) - splitting the votes equally eliminates speculation about voter intent and preference. In the future, State PIQ Scores will be adjusted after every Presidential Election, once certified results are released by the Federal Election Commission.
Our research is intended to focus on the Political Inclination of our current generation of eligible voters, not that of our ancestors; since a "generation" is typically regarded to be 25-30 years, our initial research is based on Presidential Elections occurring in the past 30 (actually 32) years... or, 1980.
The Presidential Election prior to that 32-year timeframe, held in 1976, is widely considered to be a historical and political anomaly, as it was the first Presidential Election to follow one of the most politically tumultuous periods in American History. Events occurring between the 1972 and 1976 Presidential Elections included the end of the Vietnam War (1963-1975); the Watergate trial and Senate hearings (1973-1974); the resulting impeachment and resignation of President Nixon (1974); and the controversial pardoning of President Nixon by his successor, President Ford (1974).
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