Republicans, Democrats differ on what (moreover household) brings meaning in life – Pew Research Center

Republicans, Democrats differ on what (moreover household) brings meaning in life - Pew Research Center

See our analysis on: Climate Change | Social Media | COVID-19
See our analysis on: Climate Change | Social Media | COVID-19
In the United States, even the meaning of life can have a partisan tinge.
In February 2021, Pew Research Center requested 2,596 U.S. adults the next open-ended query: “What about your life do you currently find meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying? What keeps you going and why?” Researchers then evaluated the solutions and grouped them into essentially the most generally talked about classes.
Both Republicans and Democrats are most certainly to say they derive meaning from their households, and so they additionally generally point out their pals, careers and materials nicely-being. But Republicans and Democrats differ considerably over a number of different elements, together with religion, freedom, well being and hobbies.
In truth, even a number of the phrases that partisans use to explain the place they draw meaning in life differ considerably. Republicans, together with independents who lean to the Republican Party, are more likely than Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to say phrases like “God,” “freedom,” “country,” “Jesus” and “religion.” Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say phrases like “new,” “dog,” “reading,” “outside,” “daughter” and “nature.” (Democrats are most certainly to say “new” in the context of studying one thing new. But some additionally point out it in the context of recent experiences, assembly new folks or different types of exploration.)
Below, we discover these partisan variations in extra element and have a look at how attitudes in the United States evaluate internationally, based mostly on surveys performed amongst 16 different publics in spring 2021.
This evaluation examines Americans’ responses to an open-ended survey query about what provides them meaning in life and explores how responses in the United States differ from these elsewhere in the world.
In the U.S., Pew Research Center performed a nationally consultant survey of two,596 U.S. adults from Feb. 1 to 7, 2021. Everyone who took half in the U.S. survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an internet survey panel that’s recruited by nationwide, random sampling of residential addresses. This manner almost all adults have an opportunity of choice. The survey is weighted to be consultant of the U.S. grownup inhabitants by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, schooling and different classes. In the U.S., respondents had been requested a barely longer model of the query requested elsewhere: “We’re interested in exploring what it means to live a satisfying life. Please take a moment to reflect on your life and what makes it feel worthwhile – then answer the question below as thoughtfully as you can. What about your life do you currently find meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying? What keeps you going and why?”
The Center additionally performed nationally consultant surveys of 16,254 adults from March 12 to May 26, 2021, in 16 superior economies. All surveys had been performed over the cellphone with adults in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Responses are weighted to be consultant of the grownup inhabitants in every public. Respondents in these publics had been requested a shorter model of the query requested in the U.S.: “We’re interested in exploring what it means to live a satisfying life. What aspects of your life do you currently find meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying?” Responses had been transcribed by interviewers in the language in which the interviews had been performed.
Researchers examined random samples of English responses, machine-translated non-English responses and responses translated by an expert translation agency to inductively develop a codebook for the principle sources of meaning talked about throughout the 17 publics. The codebook was iteratively improved by way of apply coding and calculations of intercoder reliability till a remaining collection of codes was formally adopted (see Appendix C of the total report).
To apply the codebook to the total assortment of 18,850 responses, a workforce of Pew Research Center coders {and professional} translators had been skilled to code English and non-English responses, respectively. Coders in each teams coded random samples and had been evaluated for consistency and accuracy. They had been requested to independently code responses solely after reaching an appropriate threshold for intercoder reliability. (For extra on the codebook, see Appendix A of the total report.)
Here is the question used for this evaluation, together with the coded responses for every public. Open-ended responses have been evenly edited for readability (and, in some circumstances, translated into English by an expert agency). Here are extra particulars about our international survey methodology and nation-particular pattern designs. For respondents in the U.S., learn extra about the ATP’s methodology.
Words in the lead graphic had been chosen first by filtering to the highest 100 phrases which might be distinctive of every social gathering, as measured by a probability ratio evaluating the proportion of responses from Democrats who talked about every phrase versus Republicans who did so, and vice versa. Words had been then filtered to the highest 25 based mostly on total frequency inside every social gathering. Words proven are used not less than 50% extra usually by these in one social gathering relative to the opposite. Words had been decreased to their root kind and exclude 354 widespread English “stop words.”
In merchandise 6 in this evaluation, assist for the governing social gathering isn’t the identical as partisanship, however it’s the greatest comparative measure throughout the 16 survey publics the place partisan identification is requested (it isn’t requested in South Korea). Elsewhere in this evaluation, we rely on conventional measures of partisanship and have a look at how Democrats and independents who lean Democratic evaluate with Republicans and Republican leaners. 
Mentions of political executives had been recognized by looking responses for explicit names in addition to generic phrases like “president” and “prime minister” utilizing case-insensitive common expressions, a way for sample matching.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to quote faith as a supply of meaning in their life. People in each events point out spirituality, religion and faith as a supply of meaning, with particular references to collaborating in conventional non secular practices (e.g., “attending church services”), in addition to extra common references to residing a life knowledgeable by religion. One Republican lady, for instance, mentioned, “My faith and the ability to choose to be thankful, optimistic and joyful are what keeps me going.”
Overall, although, round one-in-five Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (22%) say spirituality, religion or faith provides them meaning in life, in contrast with solely 8% of Democrats and those that lean to the social gathering. Evangelical Protestants – a heavily Republican group – are particularly prone to point out religion and faith as a supply of meaning (34%). Smaller shares accomplish that in different non secular teams, together with these following the traditionally Black Protestant custom (18%), mainline Protestants (13%), Catholics (11%) and those that describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” (2%).
Republicans are additionally notably prone to point out God and Jesus. One Republican man mentioned, “Life without Jesus is meaningless, sad and hopeless. It is only through a daily relationship with Christ that joy, love, peace and goodness can be found.”
Republicans are extra seemingly than Democrats (12% vs. 6%) to convey up freedom and independence as one thing that offers their life meaning. Some folks point out freedom in the non-public sense, focusing on their potential to reside the way in which they need, their work-life stability, or having or wanting free time. One Republican lady mentioned, “I like being able to have the freedoms to make my own decisions and to be able to contribute to my country. Being able to express my views without worrying about retribution.”
Others emphasize freedom in a extra political sense, highlighting issues like freedom of speech and faith. One Republican man had this to say: “Keeping the true meaning of being an American, country first, defending the Constitution and freedom of speech.”
Democrats are extra seemingly than Republicans to quote bodily and psychological well being as a part of what provides them meaning in life – and so they point out the COVID-19 pandemic extra steadily. When the survey was fielded in February, some 13% of Democrats and 9% of Republicans talked about well being – whether or not folks’s present state of nicely-being, their train regimens or the steps they take to guide wholesome lives. For some, well being can also be a precursor for different sources of meaning. One Democratic man put it this fashion: “The biggest thing for me is health. If you don’t have your health you don’t have much. Everything else can come later but you have to have your health.”
One-in-five Americans who talked about well being additionally talked about the COVID-19 pandemic, together with 23% of Democrats and 17% of Republicans. And whereas Democrats and Republicans had been about equally prone to point out COVID-19 in the context of difficulties or challenges they confronted, the specifics different by social gathering. One Republican lady, for instance, mentioned, “My family is my only driving force. Being forced into a yearlong quarantine isn’t making that easy.” On the opposite hand, a Democratic lady mentioned, “Though COVID is a constant worry, I have faith we will come through eventually and that President Biden will be able to unite our country.”
Democrats had been additionally more likely than Republicans to say COVID-19 in the context of the nation and the place they reside (23% vs. 6%) – suggesting that for Democrats, the pandemic has extra of a societal dimension than for Republicans.
Democrats are extra seemingly than Republicans to seek out meaning in hobbies and recreation, nature and the outside, and pets – although small shares of Americans total point out these items. Overall, solely one-in-ten Americans say hobbies are a supply of meaning in their life, and even fewer say the identical about nature (4%) or pets (3%). But Democrats are about twice as seemingly as Republicans to quote each as a supply of meaning in their life. Among Democrats, liberals are extra seemingly than moderates and conservatives to seek out meaning in hobbies, nature and pets, however there are few ideological variations amongst Republicans on these subjects.
Conservative Republicans are notably prone to point out their nation or the place they reside as a supply of meaning. Among Republicans, 16% point out the nation, patriotic and nationwide sentiments, or the state of America’s economic system or society as a supply of meaning, in contrast with 12% of Democrats. But conservative Republicans (21%) are notably prone to point out society relative to average and liberal Republicans (9%), whereas there are not any main ideological variations amongst Democrats.

One Republican man supplied a brief and easy description of what provides him meaning in life: “Being born in America.” And one Republican lady mentioned, “I am first-generation American and I think it is the greatest country in the world, and I am very grateful to live here.”
Partisanship is related to Americans’ views in regards to the meaning of life greater than it’s in different components of the world. In a lot of the 17 publics surveyed, those who support the governing party and those that don’t differ little in the case of the elements that convey them meaning in life. Take the United Kingdom: Those who assist the governing Conservative Party are simply as seemingly as those that do to not point out freedom, faith and different elements as sources of meaning in their life. In truth, the only real outlying issue – out of all subjects that the Center coded – is materials nicely-being: Conservative Party supporters in the UK are barely extra seemingly than nonsupporters to say this brings them meaning (16% vs. 10%).

Looking extra intently on the particular matter of freedom, the partisan variations which might be discovered in the U.S. are typically not on show elsewhere. In truth, the one different place the place partisan variations emerge over freedom is Taiwan, the place supporters of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are extra seemingly than nonsupporters to say it as a supply of meaning (19% vs. 10%).
Though few point out authorities leaders when discussing the meaning of life, Americans are extra seemingly to take action than folks in different international locations. In the U.S., 2% of individuals talked about President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump – usually by title – when answering the Center’s query about the place they discover meaning in life. (The survey was performed quickly after Biden was inaugurated as president.)
One Republican lady, for instance, mentioned that what provides her meaning in life is “the strength and backbone taught to me by President Trump – the meaning of standing up fiercely in the face of idiocy.” On the opposite hand, a Democratic man celebrated Trump’s absence from workplace, declaring that he finds meaning in life by “job satisfaction. Enough free time and money to enjoy life. Less racial inequality. Less Donald Trump and his fanatics.”
In each different place surveyed by the Center, no a couple of particular person – primarily 0% of the general pattern – talked about a nationwide chief reminiscent of a first-rate minister or president by title, and even the phrases “prime minister” or “president.” 
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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan truth tank that informs the general public in regards to the points, attitudes and tendencies shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic analysis, media content material evaluation and different empirical social science analysis. Pew Research Center doesn’t take coverage positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.


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