Typology Topic Summaries


SUMMARY FINDINGS BY TOPIC


This section presents summary points related to the five topics from the 2023 Oregon Values & Beliefs Typology Study—Economy and Jobs, Environment and Land Use, Government and Politics, Success and Wellbeing, and Religion and Faith. A page dedicated to each topic can be found in the navigation menu to the right. The summary points draw from a scientifically conducted public opinion survey completed in the fall of 2023.

The survey’s full sample size was n=3,414 which is sufficient to assess Oregonians’ values and beliefs generally, to learn how Oregonians feel about different planning and policymaking issues, and to review findings by multiple subgroups.

For the research, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center used hybrid sampling including professionally maintained online panels, self-administered surveys, and community partners’ contact lists. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set based on 2022 Census information, and the data was weighted by area, gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity.

OVBC employed a variety of quality control and security measures to ensure valid findings, including questionnaire pre-testing for clarity and bias, using a captcha question to confirm that the respondent was a human completing the online survey and not an automated program, real-time monitoring of online data collection, use of a survey rewards program (i.e., incentive program), and reviewing every completed questionnaire for the time of completion, consistent responses, etc.

In addition to descriptive analysis by topic, the study used cluster analysis to develop a typology of Oregonians’ values and beliefs which shows where Oregonians can find common ground on issues.

WHY IS UNDERSTANDING OREGONIANS’ VALUES AND BELIEFS IMPORTANT?


News coverage tends to focus on the issues that divide us. You rarely encounter headlines celebrating our shared appreciation for Oregon’s natural beauty or our shared commitment to look out for future generations of Oregonians. The Oregon Values and Beliefs Typology Study aims to identify more of those commonalities and to dig into the nuances of issues that apparently polarize Oregonians. This more accurate and comprehensive analysis of our commonalities and differences can rally the state behind new solutions, encourage residents to see one another in a new, more favorable light, and, perhaps most importantly, dispel the idea that we are more divided than united. 

This study fills a critical gap in our media and political landscape. Newsrooms face deadlines that limit their ability to engage in this sort of rigorous and time-intensive analysis. Online platforms push us to share content that inflames rather than investigates. Political parties often benefit from pointing out policy disagreements instead of celebrating the numerous areas of common ground that could become the basis of building bridges between supposedly disconnected communities. That’s where OVBC steps in. Cutting through sensationalistic and over-simplified depictions of Oregonians requires disciplined and independent engagement with residents from all parts of the state.  

The use of responsibly designed and administered opinion research provides a reliable way to reach across the spectrum of citizens. A sample of Oregonians truly representative of our state’s geography, gender, age, education, income, political affiliation, and race/ethnicity diminishes the attention paid to those with loud voices, large megaphones, and axes to grind. In short, this study is about hearing every citizen’s voice, not just the special interests or particular subgroups of Oregonians that draw the focus of political parties. Additionally, it is about building a better future for Oregon based on the common ground that unites us–shared values and beliefs that transcend geographic divides, demographic differences, and political affiliations.