Oregon Values and Beliefs Study – 1992


The first Oregon Values and Beliefs Study was conducted during the months of July and August of 1992. The study involved several thousand hours of face-to-face survey interviews of 1,361 Oregonians in each of the state’s 36 counties. Furthermore, the study divided Oregon into four regions (Tri County, Southern Oregon, Western Oregon [including Lane County, the balance of the Willamette Valley, and the Oregon Coast], and Eastern Oregon), so that additional analysis could be conducted within each region. The purpose of the study was to explore the underlying core values of Oregonians, gain understanding about those values where differences exist, enrich debate of policy issues by providing a clear understanding of core values and beliefs, allow for conclusions to be drawn regarding public sentiment on key issues confronting Oregon, and provide a scientifically sound benchmark of core values which may be periodically measured. Survey topics ranged from public issues of today to personal perceptions and beliefs. The study identified share core values among Oregonians, including the importance of family, the value of employment and the economic conditions which create employment, the value of education, and the appreciation of Oregon’s environmental features.


This project was commissioned by the Oregon Business Council to provide a baseline assessment of the values and beliefs Oregonians currently hold. Among other things, it will allow the Council to: (1) assess the values and beliefs of Oregonians today; (2) monitor changes in these values and beliefs over time; (3) detect differences in values and beliefs between areas of the state; and (4) better design, target, and promote proposals or initiatives critical to the state’s future.

This project is intended to both supplement and be integrated with the results of two other related research efforts. One of these, the 1992 Population Survey for the State of Oregon 1 1 has provided new information regarding social and economic characteristics of Oregonians. The second, know as the Oregon Benchmarks Study, was able to establish nearly 160 measurable benchmarks to guide Oregon’s development over the next 20 years.