Saturday, May 14, 2005

That Political Test

We posted earlier on the "Political Typology Test" from the Pew Institute. Reader jpg reports that changing nothing but party preference in his answers converted him from "Enterpriser" to "Conservative Democrat." We repeated that experiment with our own answers (including our presidential choice), but even as a Democrat we would be an Enterpriser.

The experience of jpg does raise questions about the validity of the categorization process, though. It seems self-evident that the party affiliation should modeled as one of the output variables (i.e. an effect) not an input variable (i.e. a cause). There are two categories out of eight that explicitly include "Democrats" in the name. No categories explicitly include Republican in the name. Not surprisingly, Conservative Democrat and Disadvantaged Democrat each have 0% Republicans. Even Liberals managed 1% Republican, so it seems likely you must specify your party preference as Democrat or independent to be included in that category.

There is also the previously noted failure in the questionaire to make any distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Altogether these design flaws make the study and the results considerably less interesting than they might have been.

It also seems that if you are reading this blog or Michelle Malkin's and enjoying it, you can probably save time by just skipping the questionaire and marking yourself "Enterpriser."

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