New US value and beliefs survey to be released this month

By agency reporter
October 17, 2012

Two weeks before the US presidential election, the Public Religion Research Institute will release its annual American Values Survey, providing a comprehensive look at the values and beliefs motivating Americans as they head to the polls.

It will include insight into a number of hot-button political issues like health care and contraception, taxes and government entitlement programmes, says PRRI.

PRRI’s American Values Survey, a large national survey of all Americans, also provides new lenses for understanding distinct sub-populations of the two largest religious groups – Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated.

The survey explores the important differences between “social justice” and “right to life” oriented Catholics, and between three subgroups of unaffiliated Americans: “atheists and agnostics,” “secular Americans” and “unattached believers.”

This year marks the fourth American Values Survey conducted by PRRI. The 2012 survey will be discussed in detail at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW) at 1.30pm EDT on Tuesday 23 October 2012.

At the PRRI/Brookings event, leading scholars will discuss what values are driving Americans in the 2012 election and what the candidates might be able to learn from the findings in the final days of the campaign.

The scholars will also explore the survey’s discovery of deep political and religious divisions on whether policies aimed at helping the poor are an important part of the national safety net and whether taxes should be increased on the highest income earners. Tuesday’s discussion will also illuminate the political and policy implications of a legality and morality gap on both abortion and same-sex marriage.

Those taking part are:
Dr Robert P. Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute
Dr E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
Dr William A. Galston, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
Dr John Sides, Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University; founder and contributor to “The Monkey Cage,” a political science blog
Dr Melissa Deckman, PRRI Affiliated Scholar, Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs, Chair of the Political Science Department, Washington College
Dr Michele Dillon, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of New Hampshire; president-elect of the Association for the Sociology of Religion

The Public Religion Research Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization specialising in research at the intersection of religion, values and public life.


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.