comment by Unnamed ·
2012-05-21T19:40:23.432Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Comparing the US (n=56) with the rest of the world (n=38), pretty much the only difference that I could find in the data was on the questions about religion while growing up, where the Americans had more issues.
One question was statistically significant on its own: Americans were less likely to agree that "My parents were in favor of atheistic or skeptic views" (p < .01). There was also a trend (p < .20) for Americans to have more issues on the related questions "My parents did not care what my religious views were" (disagree), "I felt pressure to conform to the religious views of my parents while growing up", and "I felt religiously excluded by my community while growing up".
On current connectedness questions, the only question with any trend (p < .20) was "I would expect most people in my local community to judge me silently if I express controversial views", with Americans tending to expect slightly more silent judging (p=.10). More on this question below.
I tried breaking down "the rest of the world" (n=38) into smaller groups, like continental Europe (n=18) vs. the English-speaking world (n=19), but couldn't find any meaningful differences with the small sample size.
Within the US, I broke things down into those who currently live in California (n=13), other blue states (n=21: CT, DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, WA, Wisconsin), and red states (n=23: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, NE, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, UT, unspecified Midwest). Many of these were judgment calls and I tended to put those in the "red" category. There were 4 questions with statistically significant differences (interestingly, on 2 of them the other blue states grouped with California and on 2 they looked more like the red states).
- I feel part of my local community. (p = .04). Highest in California (rest of the world is in between California & the other states).
- I feel religiously excluded by my community. (p < .01). Highest in red states (blue states & California look like the rest of the world).
- I would expect most people in my local community to judge me silently if I express controversial views. (p = .01). Highest in red states (California & other blue states look about the same as the rest of the world).
- My parents were in favor of atheistic or skeptic views. (p = .04). Highest in California (which looks like the rest of the world).
Other questions were in the direction that you'd expect (e.g. "I would expect most people in my local community to carry on a conversation with me if I express controversial views" was lowest in red states and "I regularly have enjoyable conversations with others in my local community" was highest in California) but not close to statistical significance (p > .30). I'd guess that there's a good chance that those associations would be there with a larger sample size.
I think more differences might have shown up if the survey had collected more independent variables, by asking more questions about the features of one's local community (besides country and state/province). For example: is your local community a college/university community, are you in a big metropolitan area, and how left/right is your community politically?
"What would you say is the predominant religion where you live?" was on the survey, but most people answered with some variation on Christianity (with some including additional details that are hard to code); asking about the degree of religiosity (e.g., on a 4-point scale from "very religious" to "not at all religious") would've made it easier to use this question to analyze the data.