World's Smallest Political Quiz

World's Smallest Political Quiz

The World's Smallest Political Quizref|quiz is a 10-question quiz designed as an outreach and educational tool by the libertarian Advocates for Self-Government, created by Marshall Fritz. It places the quiz-taker into one of five categories: Libertarian, Left-Liberal, Centrist, Right-Conservative, or Statist.

According to the Advocates, the quiz was primarily designed to be more accurate than the one-dimensional "left-right" or "liberal-conservative" political spectrum by providing a two-dimensional view. The Quiz is composed of two parts: a diagram of a political map; and a series of 10 short questions designed to help viewers quickly place themselves and others on that map.

The 10 questions are divided into two groups, Economic and Personal, of five questions each. The answers to the questions can be Agree, Maybe, or Disagree. Twenty points are given for an Agree, ten points for a Maybe, and zero for Disagree. The scores are added up for each group and can be zero to one hundred. These two numbers are then plotted on the diamond chart and the result shows the political group that agrees most with the quiz taker.


The chart that is the centerpiece of the Quiz is based on a chart devised in 1969 by libertarian political scientist David Nolan. Nolan reasoned that virtually all human political action can be divided into two broad categories: economic and personal. In order to visually express this insight, Nolan came up with a two axis graph. One axis was for economic freedom, and the other was for personal freedom.

Nolan introduced his chart in an article entitled "Classifying and Analyzing Politico-Economic Systems" published in the January 1971 issue of The Individualist, a libertarian newsletter. In 1999, Nolan was named one of the "2,000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 20th Century" by the Cambridgeshire, England-based International Biographical Centre (IBC). Nolan speculated his inclusion in the book is due to his creation of the Nolan Chart, which is the core of the World's Smallest Political Quiz.

In 1985, Marshall Fritz founded the Advocates for Self-Government. Part of the Advocates' mission was to introduce and explain libertarian ideas to the public. Fritz found that Nolan's chart was a great help in explaining how libertarianism was distinct from conservatism and liberalism.

The first form the Quiz took was as a business card, with the ten questions printed on it along with the chart. As of August 2004, over 7 million Quizzes had been printed. The Quiz, then, is a combination of two elements: Nolan's chart, and Fritz's idea of ten short questions to quickly and easily help a person find their place on that graph.

The quiz has also been put into other forms. In 1993, Brian Towey, with the help of his wife Ingrid, produced a full-color, instant-scoring computer Quiz on disk, for DOS and Windows. Programmer Jon Kalb created an equally advanced version for Macs. Toby Nixon created an ASCII text copy of the Quiz in the pre-Web days, and this version was circulated in newsgroups, computer networks, bulletin boards, and on software. In 1995, Paul Schmidt created the Advocates' web site, the centerpiece of which was, and remains, the interactive World's Smallest Political Quiz you find there today.

Who is using the Quiz

In August 23, 2000, Portrait of America conducted a national telephone survey of 822 likely voters. Using the same questions and scale, the survey found 32% of American voters are centrists; 16% are libertarians; 14% are authoritarians; 13% liberal; 7% are conservative; and, 17% border one or more categories. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.ref|poll

The quiz has been used in 420 schools in the United States as a way for instructors to give their students the opportunity to find out where they lean politically.ref|schools Similarly, English Programs in other countries also use the quiz in civics teaching. The English Program at Srithammarat Suksa School for example, has used the Quiz in its International Social Studies course. Also, at least a dozen textbooks feature the Quiz as part of their enhanced digital content. ref|textbooks

The Quiz is used in other countries, and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Spanish, French, Croatian, and Russian.


Critics say the quiz is inaccurate and respondents score libertarian when they are not. Mike Huben says that the questions are phrased in such a way as to encourage an "agree" response, ref|upright and a quiz with all "agree" responses results in being placed at the height of the libertarian corner. This matches a score of "100%" of both axes.


# [ World's Smallest Political Quiz]
# [ Poll Results: Libertarian Litmus Test - Are You Libertarian?]
# [ World's Smallest Political Quiz Used in Over 420 Schools]
# [ Quiz used in e-learning materials for high school, college textbooks]
# [ The World's Smallest Political Hook] (criticism)

ee also

*Nolan chart

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