201: Tuesday Quiz: So, how do “OurValues” stack up with others?

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On Monday, we launched the new OurValues project with University of Michigan researcher Dr. Wayne Baker. The launch sparked a whole lot of interest among readers — so, we invite you to click over to that landing page and join the discussion!
   Dr. Baker is pointing out fresh stories in the news, every Monday through Friday, and is posing fresh questions about our values. By participating in the discussion — you’re making a difference in the world by helping researchers rethink the way they report on the values that are so close to our hearts.

   Among the people interested in this unique online experiment are journalists who are reporting on values in this hotly contested presidential election year. We were impressed on Monday, for example, by a story about OurValues by Amber Arellano in the Detroit News.
   However, even though we all know that values are the pillars of our culture — most of us aren’t aware of where American values rank in the rest of the world. So, today’s QUIZ is taken from data in Dr. Baker’s book on global values. (CLICK on the book cover at right to jump to our review of it — and you can even buy a copy from our ReadTheSpirit-Amazon bookstore.)

   Today’s quiz involves three challenges — ranking the intensity of certain values in the United States in a list of various countries.
   Some readers are telling us that they are considering using OurValues stories and questions, written by Dr. Baker, in their own small-group discussions. If so, we invite you also to share today’s quiz with participants as a way to kick off your conversation. Also, you may want to share tomorrow’s Conversation With Dr. Baker with your group — another helpful resource in sparking discussion.

CHALLENGE No. 1:

One of the main values Dr. Baker studies is “faith” — specifically, the strength of faith as a part of people’s lives in various countries. He bases these rankings on various indicators, including frequency of attendance at religious services.
   So, the first challenge is this: Put these countries in order from Strongest to Weakest in the intensity of faith as a value. (The list is simply alphabetical now.)

China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, Russia, United States.

CHALLENGE No. 2:

Using research data from countries around the world, Dr. Baker also ranks countries on the strength of a value he calls “self expression” — the desire people feel to make their personal viewpoints known to others.
   Your second challenge is: Put these countries in order from Strongest to Weakest in intensity of self-expression.

China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, Russia, United States.

CHALLENGE No. 3:

Put these countries in order from Most Frequent to Least Frequent in average attendance at religious services.

Australia, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Norway, United States.

IF YOU’RE READING THIS ONLINE, Click on the Link below to see today’s Answers pop up. If you’re reading this via Email or an RSS feed — the Answers are next. So, don’t peek below this line until you’re ready.

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HERE ARE THE ANSWERS:

One of the important conclusions in Dr. Baker’s book is that most countries in the world tend to stress one of these two values over the other — and some countries are low on both scales.
What makes the United States distinctive in the world is that Americans are quite high on both the faith and self expression scales. This means that Americans have a whole lot to say about their faith — leading to the lively public debates that often break out around spiritual issues in our country.

HERE’S THE RANKING ON THE FAITH SCALE (from highest importance of faith to lowest as reported by respondents in the World Values Survey):
Nigeria
Iran
Mexico
United States
Russia
Sweden
China

SELF-EXPRESSION SCALE (from highest importance to lowest):
Sweden
United States
Mexico
Nigeria
Iran
China
Russia

FREQUENCY OF ATTENDANCE OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES:

Poland
United States
India
Spain
Australia
Norway
Japan
Russia

SOURCES FOR THESE RANKINGS: Faith rankings based on Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris’ “Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World,” Cambridge University Press, 2003. Self-expression rankings from Wayne Baker, University of Michigan. Attendance chart rankings based on Inglehart and Baker, “Modernization.”

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK. There are lots of ways you can express yourself on the OurValues page. Here at ReadTheSpirit, you can click on a “Comment” link below — or you can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm directly.

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