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POV Survey Results

If you’ve reached this page and haven’t yet completed the survey, please go here to take the 20-question survey, then return.

Authored by Steve Stockdale

Point of View Survey Results and Interpretations

Before you read about the results of the Point of View (POV) Survey you completed, please do the following:

  1. If you didn’t mark your answers on the paper form, please download the form and mark your responses.
  2. After you’ve marked your responses, sequentially connect your responses with a line between each dot. (See the examples below.)
  3. Compare your responses with the results of the others in the course as shown below.

Purpose of the POV Survey

I have used similar versions of this survey (which I’ve also called a General Orientation Survey or Personal Orientation Survey) in General Semantics seminars and courses for the past ten years.

The original purpose of the survey was to simply provide a basis for discussion among the rather ‘homogenous’ class of college students I taught. The students in these classes were overwhelmingly white, 18-22 years old, from (on average) middle-to-upper class Texas families, studying journalism or advertising/public relations. From all outward appearances, these classes did not represent much demographic diversity.

Despite this apparent lack of diversity, however, when we discussed the results of this survey, we invariably discovered that the homogenous appearances did not yield homogenous attitudes.

So the first purpose of the survey is to point out that differences (of attitudes) may lurk below the apparent similarities (of appearances).

A second purpose of the survey is to point out that, in a very notional and unscientific way, we could consider the results of this little 20-question survey as a depiction of a personal point of view, or orientation.

*** Let me explain here that in no way do I present this survey as anything other than a class activity for discussion. For my Educational Psychology graduate degree I took a course in assessment and make no claims as to the validity or reliability of this “instrument.”

For example, consider the hypothetical results of Leslie and Pat below. Based solely on this unscientific exercise, one could say that based on their responses to the statements on the survey, Pat exhibits an orientation that is generally more in agreement with the statements than Leslie, as Pat’s blue lines fall generally to the right of Leslie’s red lines.

Beyond comparing the placement and shape of the two vertical lines (Pat’s and Leslie’s personal orientations or points of view), let’s look at some of their responses to the statements. Since I made up Pat and Leslie, and their responses, I can tell you that the only statement on which they agreed is #16, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

On statements #3 and #17, however, their responses were complete opposites.

#3. Everything happens for a reason. (Pat strongly agreed, Leslie strongly disagreed.)

#17. It is what it is. (Again, Pat strongly agreed, Leslie strongly disagreed.)

I hope you can see how, in the hands of a skilled classroom facilitator (ahem), a discussion of these differences might yield robust class participation.

And then the third purpose of survey, after discussing the class norms and averages, differences and similarities, is to consider questions such as these:

  1. Accepting that the crooked lines of one’s responses represents a notional, wholly unscientific depiction of one (among many possible) way to illustrate one’s point of view, how has one acquired this particular point of view (or orientation)?
  2. How has Pat learned or acquired a belief that everything happens for a reason, while Leslie has not learned or acquired that belief?
  3. Does the sum or totality of one’s orientation “hang together”? In other words, are the responses consistent and non-contradictory? For example, if one agreed with #10 (You can’t teach an old dog new tricks), it’s reasonable to expect one would also agree with #20 (The more things change, they more they stay the same) given that both reflect an attitude toward change.
  4. In reviewing the orientations of Leslie and Pat, can you infer that you might prefer the company of one or the other based on their responses? Can you think of anyone you know who might exhibit a similar point of view to either Pat or Leslie?
  5. And finally, referring back to the first question, do you think the 20 responses are the logical consequence of a purposeful and deliberate world view (or point of view or orientation), or are they merely a mish-mash of random top-of-the-head reactions?

We’ll come back to these questions later. But now let’s look at your Point of View Survey results.

MOOC Point of View Survey Results

Based on 434 survey submittals as of 28 January, the following slides portray several different types of analysis.

1. Percentage of all responses by statement and response

Note: Percentages do not total 100 due to non-responses and rounding.

2. Weighted average of responses (approximately plotted)

3. Most responses

4. Fewest responses

5. Table comparing sum-of-Disagrees with sum-of-Agrees

Note: This ignores all “0 No Opinion” responses.

6. Chart showing sum of differences (Disagrees – Agrees)

Note: Statements with differences less than [+/- 100] are annotated on the chart as they can be considered the most “equal” and therefore most polarized. Or … do the statements at either end of the chart depict more polarization?

What are your reactions to your Point of View results?

Share your reactions with the class in the Discussion that follows. If you’d like to view the data used to generate these slides, you can download the Excel file.

Share your reactions to the results of the Point of View Survey, both the composite results of the class as well as your own results.

You may want to respond to the questions asked on the results page:

  1. Accepting that the crooked lines of your responses represents a notional, wholly unscientific depiction of one (among many possible) way to illustrate your point of view, how have you acquired this particular point of view (or orientation)?
  2. Select one of the statements that you strongly agreed or disagreed with. How do you suppose that you learned or acquired this belief, while others have not learned or acquired that belief?
  3. Does the sum or totality of your point of view “hang together”? In other words, are your responses consistent and non-contradictory?
  4. In reviewing the hypothetical orientations of Leslie and Pat, or the composite results of the class, can you infer that you might prefer the company of one or the other based on their responses?
  5. Would you say that your 20 responses are the logical consequence of a purposeful and deliberate world view (or point of view or orientation), or are they merely a mish-mash of random top-of-the-head reactions?