A survey undertaken by Good&Co in 2014 found quite marked differences between the Scots and rUK visitors to their site. Good&Co get around 200 000 visitors to their site per month (https://www.trafficestimate.com/good.co) and most of them complete a personality profile to enable the site to direct them toward careers or even specific companies. Here’s how they describe themselves:
‘Good&Co is an app that guides professionals towards meaningful careers by analyzing people’s personalities to find them their ideal company culture. Utilizing psychometric data, Good&Co has created forward-thinking, innovative tests that give you a personality profile and measure your compatibility with various companies.’
I was unable to find just how many Scots and rUK citizens were involved in this but Good&Co reported that they were able to confirm their findings. With around 2.5 million visitors per year, their sample is likely to be more than large enough though self-selecting and perhaps disproportionate to the base population sizes. See this diagram as illustration of the frequency of personality traits revealed by the two groups:
Here’s how Good&Co summed up
‘Good.Co’s regional profile of Scotland tells us that if Scotland were a person, s/he would best match the Advocate personality type: fair-minded, plain-speaking, just, stoic, and perceptive. The perfect type for a doctor, in fact, which is exactly what our job-matching algorithms recommended based on the averaged personality traits of our Scottish users.’
I know that there is a lack of transparency in this research but does it ring true?
Did they say what sort of person England would be? or can we have some fun making suggestions? 😉
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Yes, go ahead
Notwithstanding your careful cautions regarding the data, I think this is similar to the old ‘nature v nurture’ debate.
That debate was based on the early ideas and data of IQ testing and the tragic distortion of the original ideas for blatantly political ends, with the emergence of ‘eugenics’ and some of the underpinnings of Nazi philosophy.
As you know, John, the tests, as set up by Binet and the US Army, were essentially functional. Having to mobilise huge modern (at the time) armies in a short time they were an attempt to identify the suitabilities of different individuals and allocate them efficiently to the range of tasks an army requires of its personnel.
However, these were then diverted into being spurious justification for the hypothesis that some people were inherently better (more intelligent) than others. It was about providing ‘scientific’ evidence to prove that some social classes, i.e. the contemporary ruling class and their ‘courtiers’ were endowed by nature to their superior station (“The rich man in his castle, the poor man at the gate, He made them high and lowly and ordered their estate”). Cyril Burt, for example, with his rigged ‘twin studies’ claimed to have established that there were inherent differences. In the US there were even more baleful theorists. The evil inherent in this led to the Nazi exterminations and the atrocities of ‘mental health’ treatments around the world. Aspects of this persisted until well after WW2 and still has a number of ‘believers’ today.
Many ‘nationalist’ movements of the ‘blood and soil’ types were underpinned by these ideas of national and/or racial superiority. And this is the reason why so many people, particularly, but not solely, on the left of the political spectrum are very wary about ‘nationalism’. As a supporter of independence for Scotland I am wary of it, too. So, the word ‘nationalist’ is tainted and the unionists have deployed it, wilfully, to evoke hostility to movements seeking local self determination. In her misreported Edinburgh Festival interview, it was this that Nicola Sturgeon had in mind when she stated that if she had the chance to go back in time, she would have given the SNP another name.
Alex Salmond by his assertion of ‘civic nationalism’ transcended the ‘blood and soil’ aspect. Independence for Scotland is about those of us who live in Scotland, irrespective of our place of origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious belief or none, etc. having the powers to decide how best to run things in our context. This recognises that in various parts of the world there are ‘cultures’, complex and continuously evolving ones, which are based on local histories, languages/dialects, geography, etc.
This represents the ‘nurture’ side of the old argument. It is not just about child rearing, but the continuous learning we all undergo throughout our lives by living in particular locations. As one – and only one – example, Scotland was significantly shaped by Calvinism and its interpretation by John Knox. It is part of the ethos, for good and ill. Even those who are episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc are, to varying degrees, affected and influenced by it. I am not implying that this ethos is the same everywhere in Scotland. My history in the industrialised West of Scotland has significant differences from my wife’s from rural Perthshire with Aberdeenshire influences. However, we have influenced each other and developed different views. We are much more mobile nowadays and have a greater international perspective. IT has had an effect. While there are things which are homogenised, there are also many differences arising from geographical contexts.
So, in conclusion, I think it is plausible that the difference to which you refer in your article are ‘significant’. I do not think they are ‘better’. They are different because we live in a different context from people who live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. There are many aspects in which we are indistinguishable from our fellow Britons, west Europeans, citizens of the Commonwealth, USA, etc.
You’re correct I’m sure but still enough differences in predominant values?
I think there is enough to counter the unionist assertion that there are no differences, which they base on, probably, less rigorous data.
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