A Look at the International Inspiration Index for March and April of 2011
I started the I3 (The International Inspiration Index) is to get a handle on how people are feeling, what’s bothering them, and their outlook for the future. It started in two years ago, in April 2009. By the way, if you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.AttitudeIndex.com. Please bookmark it and return every month if possible.
The bottom line?
Over the last few months, we’re getting concerned again. Our collective attitude, although still trending positive, is declining on almost all levels.
Let’s take a look at the last two months to see what I mean.
Questions #1 #2: How’s your attitude – as well as those around you
The first two questions in the I3 are:
- How would you rate your attitude?
- How would you rate the attitude of those around you?
What’s not surprising is that we always rate our own attitude higher than the attitude of those around us. Also, what’s not surprising is that both attitudes (our and other’s) has been declining lately. (Note the blue lines heading downwards. You can click on the image to make it larger.)
If you take a look at what the top stories have been the last several months, it probably makes a lot of sense (keep in mind this data was compiled prior to the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the floods along the Mississippi River.)
- Japan’s woes
- Stock market concerns (earlier in the year)
- Government budget battles, drastic cuts, potential shutdowns, and the debt ceiling
- Labor fights in WI, OH, MI (and others)
- Libya, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Yemen, and the “Arab Spring” in general
- Bad Weather including lots of snow earlier in the year and Tornadoes galore (results do not reflect the current midwest floods)
What is surprising — at least to me — is that the overall trend of our own attitude, as well as our perception of others’ attitudes, has been positive (solid lines). I had the computer project 45 days into the future and the trend is positive but is definitely flattening out, especially for “Other’s Attitude.”
Question Three: What concerns you?
Overall, our top three concerns — those things most influencing our attitude — continue to be “the Three Es:”
However, whereby ECONOMY and ENVIRONMENT seem to be decreasing in concern, EDUCATION is on an upswing. This could be due to the fact that many states are announcing that they will be cutting teachers and raising tuition.
Question Four: What do you think about the future?
The final question asks us to make predictions. One thing that has remained consistent is we tend to be more optimistic about the long term than the short term. Looking at the bottom of the following graphic, we can see that the further out we go, the better our attitude. However, we can notice that our predictions for the future, although still more optimistic for the long-term, are all falling over the last few months.
On the above graphic, the first column is the total average, the second column shows how we have felt the last three months, and the third column shows whether column two is over or under the long average – and by how much. So, as example, if we look at THE ECONOMY, we see that the long term average is 3.75, while the last three months our concern level is 3.84, which is 2.54% higher. We can interpret that to mean over the last three months, our concern about THE ECONOMY is rising. It is interesting to note, especially since THE ECONOMY is our #1 concern, nothing is decreasing by any significance. (This is not a scientific-based poll, but it’s safe to assume that dropping to 99% is only a statistical wiggle.)
Conversely, TERRORISM, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, and MY PERSONAL FAMILY ISSUES are climbing at astonishing pace. If we look back to the last I3 survey, we will notice that INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS has been consistently growing. It would make sense as the story that seems to be hanging on the longest this year is unrest in the Middle East.
Understanding the Scores:
- On questions #1 and #2, “five” is an excellent attitude and “one” is a horrible attitude, “three” would be average.
- For question #3, “five” means greatly concerned, “one” means not at all concerned.
- For question #4, “five” is extremely optimistic and “one” is extremely pessimistic.
- If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.AttitudeIndex.com.
- If you would like to see all postings regarding the I3, follow this link.
By the way, even if you do not take the survey (gasp!) your comments are welcome. What concerns you? What are you optimistic about?