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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Voice Your Opinions on Moral Values

Get involved: A new project at the University of Michigan is trying something different in its attempt to get at the values that influence our political decisions. Rather than use random polling, the OurValues project asks participants to voluntarily respond to questions about a number of hot-button issues through a Web site—and the answers to these "flash-polls" will then inform a national study on "Americans' Evolving Values" from the university's Institute for Social Research. This larger study will look at the interaction between values, principles, and political and religious behaviors.
Wayne Baker, the sociologist who's leading the site's discussions, says he's excited by the "open source" nature of the project and the idea that it will be based on "the wisdom of crowds" rather than a closed circle of scholars. —Stephen Mapes