-->

06 March, 2009

Beliefs: The Questions

I sent an email, on August 15, 2008, to a large number of people. I did not get many responses. Maybe 8 or 10 actual responses. Maybe another 5-8 people wrote back either telling me that they might try to get around to responding, or that they were explicitly not going to respond. Others told me that they'd answer them in person, but not in writing. And still the majority, probably two-thirds, ignored the message, which I cannot really say I blame them, and I am not even sure my odds were particularly bad for a survey response rate.

The questions I asked, which again, I add the caveat, were "pilot" questions, were as follows:
Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that you hold that was not held by your parents.

Tell me an example of a belief, idea, or position that you hold, which has changed at some point during your life.  What was going on in your life at that time?

Tell me about a person, or people who have shaped some of your beliefs, ideas, or positions (may be someone you know personally, or not - either is fine).

Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that you think of as being either unique to you, or not held by many people.

Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that many people hold, which you do not.

Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that you hold, and that you consider very important to you. What role does this play in your day-to-day life?

Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that you have not shared or expressed to your friends and/or family. Why haven't you shared this?

Tell me about a belief, idea, or position that is held by someone close to you, about which you are skeptical.

Has there ever been a situation where differences in beliefs, ideas, or positions caused you conflict with someone close?  What was the issue?  How was it handled or resolved?
As I said, the goal is to learn something about how people come to hold their beliefs, but it's hard to ask that question directly. I was hoping that by asking people about their beliefs, it might give me a window into the "how". But I really don't think it did.

No comments:

Post a Comment