UK Independent Power

A sign that solar pv is seen as normal in the UK.  This Norfolk bungalow sports a large solar pv array.  It also has a sign in the window reading “I’m voting UKIP’.  The core UKIP vote is Settler.

Norfolk bungalow with large solar array and I'm Voting UKIP poster

Norfolk bungalow with large solar array and I’m Voting UKIP poster

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Evidence That Changing The Frame Can Improve Appeal Across Values Groups

Chris Rose     June 2014

Chris Rose, Director, Campaign Strategy Ltd, www.campaignstrategy.org, chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk

This report Broadening the Appeal of Environmental Action through Values Framing Uplift presents evidence from UK surveys which shows how environmental and conservation groups could reach beyond the ‘green ghetto’ to attract a wider, more ‘mainstream’ audience.

Many NGO environmental campaigns and government-sponsored attempts to encourage pro-environmental behaviours struggle to reach beyond ‘the converted’.   Surveys show that in most cases the engaged support base of environmental NGOs is dominated by the psychological group Pioneers (inner directed).  Most of their staff are also Pioneers. Their campaigns are usually framed in ways that appeal more to Pioneers, than to Prospectors (outer directed) or to Settlers (security driven).

Surveys also show that many Prospectors and Settlers are potentially just as ‘green’ but are not being engaged.  This report gives examples from surveys conducted for the Fairyland Trust and Greenpeace UK, demonstrating that by using differently framed propositions, such as about ‘nature-for-children’ rather than just action for ‘nature’ or ‘environment’, support amongst Settlers and Prospectors can be significantly increased.

On climate change, the gap between the position of ‘the public’ measured in a National UK survey, and that of Greenpeace UK Supporters as reflected in a Supporter survey asking mostly the same questions, can be reduced by as much as 38% if you test the statement “There’s still time to address climate change if we all make quite small and easy changes” as opposed to testing belief in climate change.   The reduced gap (7.5% as opposed to 45.1%) is mainly due to increased support from Prospectors and Settlers.

Similarly, the ‘gap’ between where Greenpeace Supporters are and the National population is, on ‘environment’ is closed from 49% to 21% by use of a for-children framing, again almost all by uplift amongst Settlers and Prospectors.

As the underlying reasons for differences are psychologically fundamental (such as different senses of self-agency and the importance of being a parent in self-identity), these findings are also likely to apply to other ‘causes’, where these are primarily framed in ethical and Pioneer terms.

for env for children framing values effect

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Blander Britain. No primroses at Primrose Corner

Journalist Michael McCarthy published an article in The Independent newspaper this week attacking one wild plant (cow parsley) for smothering others.  Often this sort of thing is reserved for attacks on ‘aliens’ but cow parsley is a native.  Cow parsley’s tall white flowers make Britain’s characteristic roadside hedgerows look white and frothy in spring but McCarthy is right: this is not a good thing.

cow parsley prim corner

There’s too much cow parsley.  Along with a few other rank, fast-growing plants, it is  pushing out most of our native flora.  Slowly but surely, Britain is losing its rich, diverse tapestry of nature in favour of something closer to a monoculture, and much the same thing is happening in countries all over the world.

The cause is pollution, nitrogen pollution from farm fertilizer (eg the intensive arable land by the road above), and the fall-out from burning oil, coal and gas.  The nitrogen fertilizes, a few responsive species grow more quickly, and we lose the rest.  UK roadsides as enjoyed by previous generations had hundreds of species, and now many have just a handful.

Better management – cutting and taking away vegetation rather than cutting it and leaving it in a rotting mass – would help but in the end pollution also needs to be drastically reduced.  Meanwhile Britain gets blander, and not in a good, funny way as evoked by P G Wodehouse with his fictional town of Market Blandings and Blandings Castle but in a sad little noticed impoverishment.  It’s the Blanding of Britain, and almost completely ignored by conservation groups, Councils and government alike.

primrose corner 1

Today I drove across part of East Anglia and passed hundreds of miles of cow parsley.  Pretty in one way but as welcome as a bad tempered triffid if you want nature to survive. Here is some at a spot in Norfolk called Primrose Corner. I guess it once had primroses but none were visible today.  A few other plants hang on there but the place is getting overwhelmed by a few rank species, including lots of cow parsley. (Ok primroses bloom earlier in the year but there is no way they’d survive in vegetation like this).

Earlier this year I took a group of Workshop Leaders from the Fairyland Trust out for a day of ‘nature training’.   We had to travel tens of miles through cow-parsely infested lanes to find a stretch of verge which still has a diverse enough ‘flora’ to show them a variety of what the books still call “common wildflowers of the hedgerow”.   And that is in the officially designated North Norfolk ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty‘.  So why don’t people notice ? Maybe some do but most have just got used to it, and now very few can distinguish one wild flower from another, so it’s ‘all good if it’s green’.

Here’s what Primrose Corner probably used to look like (another Norfolk roadside but a rare sight now):

primrose bank

Does it matter ? Only if you’d like some real nature in your world, not just photos on blogs, paintings in books and nature in old place-names.  It’s not just the flowers.  Lose them, and so too go the insects, and the birds.

Prim corner 3

Politicians are always keen on a new Big Idea.  Maybe we should re-name Great Britain as Great Blandings ?  Has a ring to it, and easy to achieve.

 

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Norfolk Immune from Sea Level Rise ?

Can we rely on UK journalists and the BBC to grasp even the basics of the threat posed by climate induced sea-level rise ? It seems not.

Take this exchange on BBC Radio Norfolk, yesterday evening, 13 May. (For UK listeners still at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01y79tt from ca 02.41hrs).

The station’s tea-time (drive-time) host Matthew Gudgin interviewed Anne Edwards the editor of the Great Yarmouth Mercury.  A very nice lady.  The discussion turned to floods and then melting ice in Antarctica and the Norfolk coast.

AE: “the river [Yare], that’s being sorted out … flood defences … millions …. the coast, I don’t know what the answer is to the coast … I heard on the radio yesterday that there is a glacier that’s melting – erm -  in the Arctic, is that in the North ?  I’m not sure which is the Arctic and the Antarctic …”

MG “I think this one was the South Pole”

AE: “was it the South Pole ? … oh  it’s not going to get us then [sic] … but if this glacier melts [half-laughs], it will mean sea level rise by two metres – well my house is going to be under water then.  But I don’t know.  I think it’s one of these things that’s going to happen; we’ll to have to live with it”

MG: “And Yarmouth is classified as an impoverished area …”

The conversation moves on to Great Yarmouth being neglected by the rest of Norfolk … and the need to defend the coastline.

If only the melting Antarctic ice-water really would stay put at the South Pole.

As one friend who used to be a senior communications director for flood defences at the Environment Agency commented to me: “this is probably repeated on every local radio station up and down the country”.

As revealing it is of both the state of knowledge about climate change and the realities of sea-level rise on behalf of both the presenter and the interviewee – herself an experienced journalist – it is all the more depressing because Great Yarmouth has already been at the centre of major debates about exactly this subject.  For example when agency Natural England managed to accidentally enrage public opinion by releasing a scenario showing it might not be possible to defend “The Broads”, against sea-level rise.  (The Broads are a low-lying freshwater marshland system near Great Yarmouth.  The town itself has the sea on one side and the river on the other.)

On top of this, UEA (University of East Anglia), a major climate research centre, is just a few miles away and has had long running ‘public outreach’ programmes intended to raise awareness of ‘climate issues’.  So this is perhaps the most vulnerable part of the UK facing climate-change-induced threats and ought to be one of the best informed.

If the consequences were not so serious, this case of “Alan Partridge* Meets Cognitive Dissonance”  would be funny.

*Alan Partridge is a fictional TV character (a Norfolk Radio Presenter) invented by actor Steve Coogan.

 

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Why Our Children Are Not Being Connected With Nature

A recent Fairyland Trust survey reported that 85.2% of Britons agreed “it is vital to introduce young children to nature”.

On the face of it, this seems good news for groups such as those involved with this year’s National Children’s Day   (Sunday May 11) which focuses on ‘connecting children with nature’.

Yet the overwhelming support for a very must-do proposition, cannot reflect what is actually happening, as evidence suggests British children are not very connected to nature, and nor indeed, are their parents.

The reality seems to be that parents and grandparents, and even teachers, are no longer able to ‘introduce young children to nature’ in any meaningful way, because they can’t really see nature themselves.  The old inter-generational connections that passed on the ability to tell one wild plant or creature from another, and to understand where and why they might be found, have been broken.

We need a national campaign of remedial action, and something motivational that will appeal to a population which has grown used to being ‘nature blind’.  Such a drive needs to be big and multi-facetted, social and cultural not just straightforwardly ‘educational’, and to learn the lessons of marketing and other large-scale campaigns that have influenced public priorities.

My new report Why Our Children Are Not Being Connected With Nature1 sets out evidence, some of it new, some of it from our direct experience of engaging 70,000 people with the Fairyland Trust, some cultural and some from surveys, as to why Britain is becoming blind to nature and satisfied with an environment which is ‘green’ but increasingly sterile.

Values enthusiasts will find some evidence showing that the UK ‘conservation base’ is heavily skewed to Pioneer but ‘introducing children to nature’ has a much wider appeal.  Pioneers are 20.2% more likely to respond positively to being asked to introduce young children to nature, than just to ‘care for nature’ but for Prospectors this rises to 32.5% ‘uplift’ and for Settlers and even higher 34.9%.

Here are the report’s conclusions:

Conclusions

  1. Britain is sliding towards national nature-blindness. Because they cannot discern nature themselves, most people are unable to introduce nature to their children, although they say it’s a good idea.  People of all ages are generally disconnected from nature, and the old links that passed on nature knowledge are broken and need repair.
  2. This undermines efforts to stem the onward decline of wild plants and animals because people do not notice it, and means that any successes will tend not to be appreciated.
  3. We need a national programme of campaigns and initiatives to reconnect people to nature by enabling them to become nature-literate. This has to involve adults, not just children.  It could include:
  • Teaching Natural History at all levels of education
  • Social and cultural initiatives to give people the skills and ability to read nature, recognize its diversity and quality, and identify species in the same way that earlier generations could.
  • Putting authentic nature back into popular culture, eg advertisements
  • Diverting some of the effort and resources put into agri-environment schemes which pay farmers to modify intensive agriculture (some £400m each year), into public engagement for nature literacy
  • 4. Such a campaign requires the sort of marketing and communications skills and methods that have been used to promote sports, anti-drunk driving and anti-smoking campaigns, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination, and commercially, the promotion of a public appetite for better cooking and wines.
  • 5. Conservation groups need to recognize that simply getting children outdoors, is no guarantee of connection with nature.  Government and voluntary-funded projects intended to connect children with nature should measure outcomes in terms of nature-literacy and ability, not simply time spent out of doors, or general attitudes to ‘nature’.
  • 6. Effective engagement beyond the narrow ‘conservation base’ (maybe 1 in 20 ?) will require activities and opportunities that appeal to the psychological groups Prospectors and Settlers as much as Pioneers.
  • 7. Such a campaign will require moments which focus attention on particular species or features of nature, for example if the BBC were to reinstate its former tradition of a live Nightingale broadcast, it could form the centre-piece of an annual ‘Nightingale Night’.
  • 8. Such a campaign would also need nature-engaging activities that match lifestages and lifestyles: for example courses for the time-rich (retired ?), and activities and opportunities which entertain children and time-poor parents.
  • 9. A nature-literate Britain must become a widely shared political objective.
  • 10. To achieve such political backing, nature ability and quality must become aspirational, for example by being attached to popular past-times like gardening, and being seen as a desirable feature in gardens and homes.

Kerrygold cow

Modern nature-free farming: just grass, no flowers, insects or birds.  Nature (or rather the lack of it) in contemporary popular culture: connection broken.

Summerflowersofthe season

An advertising poster (for London Transport) from before the connection was severed.  The wild flowers illustrated are real, recognizable British species: nature-literacy which has largely disappeared from the UK.  See report for more examples.

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Introducing Young Children To Nature – Survey Report

Chris Rose   chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk

A nationally representative survey (N=2000, representative by age and sex) was conducted for the Fairyland Trust www.fairylandtrust.org in December 2013, as part of the British Values Survey run by Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing, CDSM [1].

The questions were fielded by GMI and each had a Likert scale of options 1 – 5, ‘strongly agree, slightly agree, neither agree nor disagree, slightly disagree, strongly disagree’.  The survey was conducted online using a sample weighted to be representative.

The key question asked for the Fairyland Trust (www.fairylandtrust.org – contact Chris Rose, Director at chris@fairylandtrust.org ) was agreement/disagreement with the statement “it is vital to introduce young children to nature”.  Respondents were also segmented by motivational values.  That analysis will be the subject of a subsequent report.

In total, 85.2% agreed it’s vital to introduce young children to nature.  56.2% opted for ‘strongly agree’ and 29% ‘somewhat’.  Only 6.6% actively disagreed and just 8.1% opted for ‘neither agree nor disagree’.

Chris Rose, Director of the Fairyland Trust who commissioned the survey says:  “The overwhelming support for the idea of introducing children to nature is fantastic news, as research has shown most children now cannot recognize most common wild plants and animals, and some haven’t even seen a bumble bee”.

The poll also found that women agree somewhat more strongly than men, and older people more than younger people.  (Whether or not people are actually engaged in nature is a different matter – see forthcoming blog at http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/ ).

Other evidence suggests that engaging young children in nature has the greatest influence on them as adults [2].  This means ‘young’ as in three to four years of age up to about eight to eleven years.

The report results, graphs and tables can be downloaded here – Report Introducing Young Children to Nature

The survey also included two other statements related to places, magic and folklore: “I am interested in real British folklore, magic, ancient places and legends”, and ”I have a favourite place which makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck”.

[1] www.cultdyn.co.uk – contact Pat Dade, Director, at pat@cultdyn.co.uk

[2] eg (a) Childhood Development and Access to Nature: A New Direction for Environmental Inequality Research, Susan Strife and Liam Downey.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3162362/ “Research has shown that regardless of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, early childhood experiences in nature significantly influence the development of lifelong environmental attitudes and values”. (b) Richard Louv, Last child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder, (Atlantic Books 2010), p 150: ‘In 1978 Thomas Tanner at Iowa State University conducted a study of environmentalist’s formative influences’.  He found that “Far and away the most frequently cited influence was childhood experience of natural, rural or other relatively pristine habitats”.  ‘For most of these individuals, the natural habitats were accessible for unstructured play and discovery nearly every day when they were kids’.  Studies in many countries have replicated his findings and in 2006 Nancy Wells and Kristi Lekies went beyond studying the childhood influences of environmentalists; they looked at a broad sample of urban adults, ages eighteen to ninety.  The study indicated that adult concern for, and behavior related to, the environment derives directly from participating in such wild nature activities” as playing independently in the woods, hiking, fishing and hunting before the age of eleven”. (c ) “children younger than 12 were willing to attribute emotional feelings to trees as well as animals, and that their interpretation of a story about a tree “seems to be closely associated with feelings of empathy for the tree and appears to permit them to assume its perspective” Chalawa http://www.peecworks.org/peec/peec_reports/01795CA8-001D0211.34/jdpchawla.pdf

ends

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Update on Nightingales 15 May

Bryony from 38Degrees and I handed in the petition to the BBC.delivering nightingale petition to bbc may 2014 2

Hello – a recap on what happened. Bryony from 38 Degrees and I handed in the petition. Over 1400 signed it in the end.  The BBC never did a live Nightingale Broadcast but did a pre-recorded programme.  So we had half a success and raised a lot of awareness and generated evidence of how much people care about these wonderful and threatened birds.  Thank you for all your wonderful comments and recordings. you can still listen to some of the recordings at SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/nightingale-night).

I hope to encourage bird and conservation groups to back a National Nightingale Night next May, 2015. I will email the signatories of the petition to keep them informed. Meanwhile if you hear a ‘Nightingale’ in the UK between now and next may, it is probably a Robin or a Song Thrush.  Robins often sing at night even in winter, where there are town streetlights.  This is not really good for birds as it is disrupting their natural behaviour but their song is beautiful.  Meanwhile you might also be interested in this: Why Our Children Are Not Being Connected With Nature

May 15 – Letter sent to Tony Hall, BBC Director General on 30 April letter to Tony Hall 30 April 2014

May 15 – Letter received today from Tony Hall BBC DG by email, dated 8 May Letter from Tony Hall dated May 8

for May 16 – letter to be delivered to Tony Hall with petition May 16:Petition letter to Tony Hall May 16th

MakeMay18 NightingaleNightMay 11 – Sunday Telegraph today reports that the BBC is going to re-create a Nightingale broadcast with cello player in a special programme on May 19th at 11pm on Radio 4.  A special tweet of the day will go out at 6am the same day.  All very good but is it live ? We don’t know yet as although we wrote to the BBC on April 30th we’ve not so far had a reply.

Nightingales S Tel 11 May 14

May 1 — Nightingales are arriving on British shores and thanks to the efforts of all who have helped, we’ve topped 1100 signatures today.  This is a great start but we need more to prove to the BBC that they should broadcast live on May 18th.  I hear they are talking about it but the more who sign up, the more likely they are to respond positively.  So please ask some more people to join us now, at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/nightingales

* For example Nightingale surveyor Mike Drew reports hearing seven singing nightingales at Grafham Water near Peterborough on 24 April – he tweets from @michaelmas79.  The BTO Birdtrack system www.birdtrack.net/ updates all sightings of migrant birds as they arrive – visit their webpage and put “nightingale” in the box to see their latest results.

Here’s the graph from earlier today:BT_Nightingale

Not everyone is going to be able to get up at 5am like Mike to search out Nightingales, or lives near a favoured woodland to visit in the evening but if the BBC helped out, we could all share the experience – so please encourage friends, colleagues and relations to join us and sign up at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/nightingales

Thanks

Chris Rose

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Would You Like to Hear a Nightingale ? If so, please help this Petition

Slowly, year on year, Britain has been losing its Nightingales but as so few of us ever hear them, very few people will have noticed.  The BBC once brought the song of the Nightingale to the nation, with its first Outside Broadcast.  Here’s the text of my petition to try and enlist the help of the BBC to once again bring Nightingale song into every home, and hopefully lend support to the efforts to conserve these fabled songsters.

Sign the petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/broadcast-nightingales-live-on-bbc-radio-this-may-18th

Nightingale close

Broadcast Nightingales live on BBC radio this May 18th

TO THE BBC

Dear BBC

At midnight on 18th May 1924 a million people tuned in to BBC radio to hear your first ever live Outside Broadcast: of a Nightingale singing in a Surrey wood as cellist Beatrice Harrison played music.  50,000 people were so moved that they wrote letters in response.  It became an annual BBC tradition – until World War II in 1942.

We ask you to re-start these broadcasts and re-connect people all over Britain with the song of the Nightingale, live, this May 18th.  This and many of other songbirds are in steep decline: by broadcasting the song of the Nightingale you will enrich our lives, and may inspire us to keep a place for Nightingales in the lives of our children, and theirs.

Why It Matters

Anyone who has ever heard the song of a Nightingale, knows the extraordinary heart-lifting, soul-penetrating power of the voice of this bird.

Keats N

Once they were commonplace: Keats wrote ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ while listening to one in his Hampstead garden.  As a teenager growing up in Ruislip in the London suburbs, I heard just one signing Nightingale, despite the large ancient woodlands there, yet I was told that during WW II, they were common enough that people living next to the woods complained about the noise of singing Nightingales keeping them awake at night.

Fewer and fewer people now get to ever hear the song of a real live Nightingale.  They have declined 55% just since 1995.  Why ?  It is a mystery almost as deep as how it is that the song of the Nightingale mainlines straight to our hearts.  But we do have some idea.

Back in 1942, the BBC’s hugely popular ‘Midnight Nightingale Broadcasts’ were brought to an abrupt end when an engineer realized that they were about to broadcast the background sound of RAF bombers massing overhead, before setting off to strike Germany. So he pulled the plug.

Today the Nightingale is under a very different sort of threat: researchers think a combination of climate change and farm development in its African wintering grounds, the destruction of nesting habitat by introduced Muntjac deer in this country, poor woodland management and pesticides, may all play a part.

The Nightingale is but one of many songbirds, which for similar reasons, are rapidly vanishing from our countryside, our urban green sanctuaries and suburban woods, and thus from our lives.  It seems that developers and politicians do not care enough to keep even the clearest most obvious threats at bay – for example at Lodge Hill in Kent, Britain’s only woodland specifically designated as a valued breeding site for Nightingales, over 80 singing Nightingales are threatened with development for new houses.

If our society cannot save the Nightingale, it cannot save very much of what makes life really worth living.  Yet as David Attenborough has said, “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.

You can hear the evocative, liquid song of that lone, long-dead Nightingale from 1942, with the drone of bombers in the background, here.  It was recorded but never broadcast.  Now it’s time for the BBC to re-start the tradition, not to run a campaign but to enrich our quality of life, to at least give its millions of listeners the chance to hear a real, live Nightingale signing, if only once a year.

More:  

Beatrice Harrison and her sister lived at Foyle Riding near Oxted in the 1920s.  Their home became famous for the Nightingales and thousands of people traveled from London to visit and listen to them singing.  After the sisters moved, the BBC continued the broadcasts until 1942.  Beatrice was a friend of composers such as Delius and Elgar.  I don’t know what has happened to their home but it appears that the woodland around it may have been built on for housing.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) conducts surveys of Nightingales.   BTO experiments have shown that deer browsing – ie eating the low vegetation that Nightingales need to nest in – have a negative effect.   The BTO’s 2012 survey estimated that there were 3300 pairs in the whole country – about one Nightingale for every 9,000 people.  The BTO says “the Nightingale is in danger of being lost as a UK breeding bird” and showed that it declined by over 50% between 1995 and 2008.

Nightingales are small Rufus brown birds a bit larger than a robin – not much to look at and hard to see but with an amazing song.  The sing in the day or at night but the night-time singing makes the biggest impression.  May is regarded as the best month to hear them.

The RSPB, Kent Wildlife Trust and others have been campaigning to save the woodlands of Lodge Hill in Kent from being destroyed for new housing.  1.3% of the UK Nightingale population lives at Lodge Hill.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

    My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

    One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:

‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

    But being too happy in thine happiness,—

    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees

    In some melodious plot

    Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Part of ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ by  John Keats: full poem here

Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day First heard before the shallow cuckoo’s bill, Portend success in love.

John Milton Quotes , Source: Sonnet–To the Nightingale’

 Nightingale tweet

David Attenborough presented the Nightingale on BBC Tweet of the Day

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The Values Behind #nomakeupselfie

What motivated people to do #nomakeupselfie   ?  It went big on twitter and on facebook as women posted pictures of themselves without make-up, to support cancer charities.

#nomakeupselfie engaged millions and hit the UK national news.  It also spread beyond the original demographic of young women: for example the two sisters, with a combined age of 174, who recently posted a #nomakeupselfie.

With the sort of response that professional e-campaigners dream of achieving, pundits of all colours took to the blogs to puzzle and argue over the rights and wrongs of the action and the “messages” sent or implied; about women, about image, values, cancer etc, and about the reasons behind the uptake.   Below I’ve posted a data-based illustration from Pat Dade at CDSM which might shed a bit of light on the psychology (motivational values) behind the response but first, what actually happened ?

Fiona

Metro magazine gives a good account of the legend.  Fiona Cunningham, an 18-year-old young mum set up ‘No Make Up Selfie For Cancer Awareness’ Facebook page while in her bedroom in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.  Family members had suffered with cancer. She saw actress Kim Novak attend the Oscars without any make up on, and that gave her the idea.

So with the help of a friends she encouraged others to post #nomakeupselfie shots of themselves and donate £3 to cancer charity.  Metro notes: ‘Just days after her page was created on March 18, she had received hundreds of likes and Cancer Research UK announced they had received over £1million in donations as a result of the campaign on 21 March’.  By late March the charity, which had no role in starting the ‘campaign’, had received over £8m in donations, and several other charities, including one for adopting polar bears, had benefited from the numerous donations which got accidentally mis-directed.

Motivational Values

Amongst the hundreds asked in its British values Survey, Cultural Dynamics asks lots of questions about image, having fun, looking good and a host of other attitudes and behaviours relevant to #nomakeupselfie.  Being seen, online or otherwise, can obviously be something to do with esteem, and getting your post seen is an ‘achievement’, while having it seen by your friends, means it is a peer group connection.  As readers of this blog will know, the psychological group most drawn to any activity which is fun, social and about receiving the approval, especially the visible approval, of others, is the (outer directed) Prospectors.

CDSM defines them by asking hundreds, sometimes over a thousand questions and comparing the result but one ‘Attribute’ drawn from those questions which seems very relevant to #nomakeupselfie, is ‘Image Aware’. Someone scoring high on ‘Image Aware’ would have responded positively two statements (on a 1-5 scale) ‘It is important to me to standout in a group by the way I look or talk’, and ‘I always dress for effect’.  Other Attributes which plot close to Image Aware on the statistical values map (see below) include Persona (effectively being someone else to be noticed) and Looking Good but the five Attributes which it is most associated with are Pleasure, Aspiration, Visible Success, Buzz and Simmer.

Image Aware

Here’s what values-measuring-guru Pat Dade says about these Attributes in relation to #nomakeupselfie.

a) Pleasure: The act of posting the selfie probably is a bit of indulgence and curiously a bit of a sensual experience – showing the real me is both fun and liberating in a “real way”.


b) Aspiration: The selfie poster might say: “I may not subscribe to the more strident form of feminism held by my grandmothers and mothers generations – and making up is fun – but I think I am woman enough to hold my own with most feminists. I am confident that I can carry this off no matter what the outcome is”.


c) Visible Success: They may say: This is a tweetstorm and I’m part of it!


d) Buzz: They may say: I’m part of something that gives me a buzz by i) being invited to post and ii) living with the reactions from the post and then iii) reading about what is going with the whole behaviour set and being part of something that is “serious” – but easy for me to be involved in.”

e)Simmer: They may say: And it pisses me off that as a woman I have to even think about this – made-up or barefaced – because men don’t have this issue, only women.

(For the meaning of these Attributes see CDSM’s Values Alphabet).

Pat says: “this needs to be seen in the context of many behaviours including Movember (only men) and the presentation of self and “doing good”  but using an “unusual self” to present when doing good – something a Prospector would find more “natural” than a moralistic Settler or an ethical Pioneer, who both would be more likely to feel slightly ambivalent about equating non-normal with good”.

For students of Values Modes it looks like the networking started with young women comfortable with the technology, and much more with Prospectors than other Maslow Groups, and probably Now People (NP) rather than Golden Dreamer (GD).  As it got bigger and seemed more normal, older women and GDs joined in.

Dade comments: “The technology is enabling them to say “look at me” and is just a normal part of their life and not something different. The thing that makes it fun (having fun rather than doing good is the prime driver) is that they are sharing face pictures with each other. Many psychological and anthropological studies show the importance of face in interpersonal relations.  However they are also sharing their “un-natural” self with others: creating a secret “un-natural” self that is in fact, the natural self before the fetishized “natural make up face” is applied !”

“Enough already !” I hear you cry. Are there any lessons here for campaigners ?  Probably a few.

  1. Chance: for every similar personal action that achieved a similar result, many thousands went ‘nowhere’, and there is probably no way to determine which will ‘work’.  So you must sow many seeds, and the mainstream appeal of the Cancer Research UK brand, and the guaranteed approval attached to helping fight cancer, lies behind the potential.  This sort of chain reaction is contigent on there being no alignment or comprehension problem to overcome.
  2. Have a big brand to get #1.  Put it another way, this is a game for the big brands, and if you don’t have one, ask yourself if you can work with one.
  3. Pilot your behaviour at the Oscars (the Kim Novak factor) with an actress or actor who will appeal to the relevant demographic (see 4#).  Greenpeace has had some success there with dresses and Naomie Harris.  The Prius was elevated from obscurity to green icon car by Leonardo di Caprio and Cameron Diaz at the Oscars.  Get your individual role model behaviour seen on the red carpet, or thereabouts.  The audience for the Oscars is fertile territory.
  4. Audience and social bonds: it started with friends and spread through friends.  Prospectors are the key drivers, especially the young who spend a lot of time connecting online, and especially females.  Pioneers, who in ‘real life’ often dominate NGO staff (especially on issues),  are more likely to post stuff they find ‘interesting’, which often equates to ‘different’, rather than pictures of themselves or a network of friends who know each other.  CDSM’s research suggests that Prospectors tend to have a fairly large group of friends who all know each other, whereas Pioneers have more friends but they tend not to know each other, so the potential for positive feedback is much less amongst the more cause-oriented Pioneers.  The Pioneers will also spend time debating the idea, or interrogating the idea behind the action, rather than just getting on with the ‘ask’ and enjoying it socially.  See also analysis of Stop Kony where a similar thing happened.
  5. The ask (engagement mechanism) was actionable by those contacted.  No special equipment or trip was required (eg visit to MP or even a shop); not even putting on your make up.  Just leave it off, take a picture, and post.  A small thing but connected to a big cause.  The Rule of Small – I just made that one up but it’s true.  For Prospectors especially, quick and easy with a discrete and instant result is cool.  The small-cool-rule.  But emotionally it needs to signify big, like carrying the right Big Brand carrier bag: small action, big connection/statement.

Cancer selfie

So thank you Fiona.  Metro says you are studying for a degree in criminal psychology with the Open University.  Good luck with that but you may already have earned yourself a place in the annals of psychology in a rather different area.

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UK Politics and Values – Beyond Class

With European Elections due to take place within weeks, and a UK General Election looming on the political horizon, British politicians and press talk a lot about ‘values’ but they rarely have any measurements of values to inform the ‘conversation’.   A question on political affinity, asked as part of the 2000-person British Values Survey, is reported for the first time here, and may help put some facts and figures alongside the rhetoric and guesswork.

  • Supporters of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are massively divided over their most powerful (and unconscious) values, even though the parties are in a governing coalition.

  • The very narrow values bases of UKIP and the Libdems will make it hard for them to break out.

  • Support for the Conservatives is low amongst Pioneers and the young

  • The key battlegrounds between Labour and Conservative include the younger, especially female voters, and most of all Prospectors.

British political parties have traditionally looked at voters in terms of age, sex and class (Socio Economic Group or SEG), and at themselves in terms of left-right political ideology, or ‘managerialism’ v ideology.  A huge amount of commentary and analysis proceeds from these starting points, and a lot of time is then spent trying to explain public opinions, aspirations and voting behaviour in these terms.  For example puzzling over who the ‘Middle Class’ are, and arguing about what ‘working class’ now means.

Analysis of motivational values provides an alternative or additional insight into the politics of the ‘public’, which goes beyond class.  This report Beyond Class C Rose Final April 2014 details a December 2013 British survey by CDSM (Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing www.cultdyn.co.uk), involving 2,000 representative British adults over 16.

This asked hundreds of questions about attitudes and beliefs, and the question “At heart, which political party do you identify with most strongly?”   This is not a question about voting intention but about feelings of support.

The options given were:  Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, UK Independence Party, British National Party, Green Party and ‘Other’, together with ‘don’t know’.   Respondents were also asked a set of questions developed over decades of running the BVS which segment them by values, into the three main ‘Maslow Groups’ (MGs) of Settler, Prospector and Pioneer, and the twelve more distinct Values Modes (VMs), which lie four within each of the MGs.  They were also surveyed for age, sex and SEG.

The same question “At heart, which political party do you identify with most strongly?” has been asked in a number of previous surveys.   Reports of a 2005 British ‘Values and Voters’ survey can be found here, a 2009 article in Total Politics here and a 2013 report by Nic Pecorelli at IPPR ‘The New Electorate: Why Understanding Values is the Key to Electoral Successhere, while there are several blogs with values and UK political data at CDSM’s website (see links in main report).

Results

The most popular choice was Labour, followed by Conservative, UKIP and Liberal Democrat.   There is a large 19.9% ‘don’t know’ which is of course of interest to politicians.   Below: actual numbers from the survey by MG and political affinity.

Pols bar chart 2013

The data on political choices by values group (MG):

Pols uk sig and skews 2013 The warm colours indicate significant over agreement (over indexing), the cool colours the opposite.  (For further explanation see main report).

Individual values maps  of party support show a large overlap between Conservative and Labour support in the Prospectors but that the Conservatives have more support in the Settlers.   To gain more support here, Labour would need to resonate with Settler values such as safety, identity, security and belonging.  The attempts to win support on the issue of immigration are perhaps one such example but Labour is in a three way fight with UKIP and Conservative for the core Settler vote.  UKIP has little support outside the Settler values area but eroding it would be difficult without a long bottom-up process because the UKIP vote is a result of sustained neglect by other parties.  Finding another Settler-resonant battleground might be more fruitful for Labour but its main gains can probably be made in the Prospectors.  Labour currently has more support in the GD Golden Dreamers and the Conservatives more amongst the NP Now People.

uk pols terrain landsc 2013

Above: ‘terrain maps’ of values for some political choices in the British Values Survey. Warm colours indicate higher agreement.   For further explanation and key to VMs see main report.

The main deficit for the Conservatives is support amongst the Pioneers.  The more it tries to play to the issues that excite UKIP voters (eg against onshore wind turbines), the more acute this problem may become because there is a huge divide on many attitudes between VMs such as RT and BNW (Settlers) and TX and CE (Pioneers).

Liberal Democrat support is concentrated in just two VMs, the TX  Transcender and CE Concerned Ethical Pioneers.  Values of LibDem supporters are almost the diametric opposite of the main Conservative supporter values, indicating the uneasy nature of their ‘marriage of convenience’ in the governing coalition.   Any government politicians who have convinced themselves that they really share a common cause are deluding themselves: their supporters do not feel it.

The LibDem support base really shares more values with the Greens but they have an even smaller base centred in the TX, and they heavily overlap with Labour.

[It should be remembered in looking at these values maps that the attitudes and beliefs involved are not mainly political-ideological but about the importance of things like tradition, benevolence, justice, ethics, hedonism, conformity, respect and success, power and universalism (see main report for the 2012Values Map showing the CDSM Attributes , and for an explanation of the current Attributes see here).]

The BNP’s tiny base is centred in the RT Roots VM, which is the one with least sense of self-agency.  These people are those least likely to go out and proselytize.   The SNP has an interesting map which may be analysed in a future post at www.cultdyn.co.uk by Pat Dade.

The parties with the most distinct values profile – UKIP and the Liberal Democrats – face the most difficult task in breaking out of their ‘natural’ base and attracting wider support.   Realistically this would involve the Liberal Democrats appealing to more Pioneers but for that they are in direct competition with both the Green Party and Labour, as well as to more Prospectors, especially Now People (NPs).  The shortest answer for the LibDems to appeal to NP Prospectors is that they need to look more fun, and less earnest and ethical but that in turn might upset the CE Concerned Ethicals in their base.

Pioneers are the most universalist, global minded and civic minded of the MG values groups.  Prospectors are the most transactional, assessing political offers more as a deal – “what’s on offer for me ?” – but are also on an active search to be entertained, so they are most attracted to celebrity and ‘star quality’.  Part of Tony Blair’s appeal to Prospectors, which was a key component of the ‘New Labour’ brand,  was his charisma, youthful energy and ‘modern-ness’ compared to both the Conservatives of the time and to Old Labour.  Indeed the fact that New Labour seemed to be more a ‘brand’ in the commercial sense, and less an ideology (not about ideas – Pioneer, and not a dogmatic creed – Settler), was attractive to Prospectors in itself.

The extent to which people then declare a right or left affinity for parties depends not just on their values but the offer being made by the parties.  In the past, UK politics was dominated by Settlers (who formed the majority of the population) and both the Conservatives and Labour had identity based (in the UK ‘class based’) followings who voted ‘instinctively’ or ‘traditionally’.  Those certainties have broken down since the mid C20th, and few ‘progressive’ parties have any ‘identity’ offer, often leaving the right wing as the only identity-based option for Settlers.  This is discussed further in main report, which also gives demographics showing that UKIP and Conservative over-index amongst the over 65s but Labour has an advantage over the Conservatives in appealing to the under 34s.

Don’t Knows

The large 20% who say ‘don’t know’ tend more to be younger and female.  This profile, together with the Prospectors in general who are fairly equally divided between supporting Conservative and Labour, looks to be the key values-demographic battle ground.

The report also gives data on occupation and class (Socio Economic Group).  Although there are skews in relation to values, the political affinities divide more clearly over values, than age, sex or class.

Note

Thanks to CDSM for permission to publish parts of the 2013-14 BVS results in this paper.

CDSM is continuing to develop its current British Values Survey in 2014 and plans to conduct several waves with different sets of questions.   Enquiries should be addressed to Pat Dade at CDSM pat@cultdyn.co.uk

You can contact me at chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk


[1] Explanations of the ‘Values Modes’ system can be found at www.cultdyn.co.uk where you can also take an online survey to identify your own values.  An introductory explanation is here, and The differences between the four Pioneer Values Modes (VMs) in each of the three MGs, are explained here: Settler, Prospector, Pioneer.  The book What Makes People Tick: The Three Hidden Worlds of Settlers, Prospectors, and Pioneers provides many examples of how the system works and is available here. There are numerous blogs and articles at www.cultdyn.co.uk and www.campaignstrategy.org (including ‘three worlds’ blog).

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