X
JOIN US

Would you like to be part of creating a happier and more caring society? If so please join our movement, add your pledge and take action - at home, at school, at work or in your community. Together we can make a difference

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

join

news

news rss feed rss logo

People want a more caring and compassionate society

24 Jan 2013 | Barrett Values Centre

** Researchers uncover major disconnect between what matters most to people and how they feel UK society is currently operating **

People living in the UK want a more caring and compassionate society, with greater accountability and honesty and more effective governance, a major new report reveals.

Researchers have found caring for the elderly and disadvantaged, affordable housing and employment opportunities come top of British citizens' wish lists. The ground breaking study, which is being launched today, has been compiled by Barrett Values Centre (BVC) in consultation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and with support from Action for Happiness.

The report, Increasing Happiness by Understanding What People Want, is based on questions asked to 4,000 people living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has identified the personal values of people living in the UK, as well as the values they currently experience in their local communities and in the nation as a whole, along with the values they most want to see reflected in their communities and the nation.

The UK is the twenty-fourth country to be studied by BVC in the past five years. The results of the study are being provided to the Government in the hope that they will influence future policy.

The report shows that people living in the UK value meaningful, close relationships and operate with a strong sense of integrity. The top personal values selected include caring, family, honesty, humour and fun, friendship, fairness and compassion, as well as independence, respect and trust.

Values cloud 2

When asked what values they currently experience in their local community, responses are closely aligned to these personal values, with respondents pinpointing quality of life, family, friendship and helpfulness. Other values highlighted included safety, community services, buy local and a sense of community. They also indicate that they experience drug/alcohol abuse and uncertainty about the future.

In contrast, when asked about the values they see operating in their nation as a whole, the picture is very different. The top values people see in the UK are bureaucracy, crime and violence, uncertainty about the future, corruption, blame, wasted resources, media influence, conflict/aggression, drugs/alcohol abuse and apathy.

When asked which values they would like to see operating, UK citizens identified caring for the elderly and disadvantaged, affordable housing, employment opportunities, accountability, honesty, government effectiveness, effective healthcare, employment opportunities and dependable public services. At a community level, in addition to wanting to see more focus on caring for the disadvantaged and the elderly, people want to have more affordable housing, dependable public services and employment opportunities. They also want to see an increased focus on community services and more concern for future generations.

Phil Clothier, CEO of Barrett Values Centre, said: "It's great to see that most people feel positive about what is happening in their local communities, but disturbing to see the level of discontent that exists at a national level. Among the top terms people use to characterize the national picture we find bureaucracy, crime, violence, uncertainty about the future, corruption, blame and wasted resources. Citizens do not perceive that our society is operating as they want it to."

The study also measured the level of dysfunction people feel exists in the UK and their local community - coined in the report as 'cultural entropy'. The results show a 59% level of cultural entropy at the national level, compared to just 22% at a community level.

With an overall national entropy result of 59%, the UK has one of the highest levels of cultural dysfunction recorded in nine European countries studied by BVC to date. France, Latvia, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark have all recorded better scores than the UK.

Richard Barrett, founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and author of Love, Fear and the Destiny of Nations, said: "After freedom and equality, accountability is the next most important value to put in place in order to build a well-functioning democracy. People in the UK clearly believe that this value, along with honesty, is lacking among our decision-makers. We will only correct this situation if our leaders take up the challenge of building a values-driven society".

Dr Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, said: "Our values have a huge impact on the society we live in, so this first national assessment of UK values is very welcome. At a time when many people fear we are losing our moral foundations, this research shows that what people in the UK actually value most of all is caring for others. This is reflected both in their personal values and also the values they would most like to see at the national level. I find it very encouraging that, on the whole, we Brits have a deep concern for our fellow citizens and want to live in a society which is compassionate and fair. However, the research suggests that we need political leadership which better reflects the values of the UK people".

---

Media: For more information or to arrange an interview or briefing with the authors of this report, please call Amy on 07857 145 257 or email amy@creativeleopard.com

The full report can be downloaded at www.valuescentre.com/ukvalues

 

tags

POSTER: GREAT DREAM

Ten Keys to Happier Living

Great Dream 200

See the full set of posters

click to view

Happiness is contagious

Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know.

Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend's spouse) by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

click to view

Positive emotions make us more resilient

Our emotions affect our long term well-being. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things.
click to view

Together we're stronger

Having a network of social connections or high levels of social support has been shown to increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older.

Not having close personal ties has been shown to pose significant risks for our health.

Action for Happiness

90090 followers

  • Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate https://t.co/rk4etfPFqW

    yesterday 12:24pm

  • We are happier (and kinder) when we let go of the nagging voice in our heads and learn to love and accept ourselves https://t.co/gUqZYdOYAq

    yesterday 8:58am

  • Prosperity is about human flourishing, not money or stuff. Great @CUSP_uk launch with Satish Kumar & Rowan Williams https://t.co/QOBwj7fEu7

    yesterday 6:39am

  • @Comm_Links: Steps to a happier life! Join the 8-week course to gain a more positive outlook on life https://t.co/fP08M…

    yesterday 5:03am

  • When we treat each other with kindness, everything tends to go better https://t.co/JZL1GZMz4A

    yesterday 5:03am

  • Choose kindness and laugh often https://t.co/inYv9AUoPJ

    sunday 22 may 11:57am

  • Be mindful. Learning to live more mindfully can enhance mental wellbeing and human potential https://t.co/ePjllvZCFu https://t.co/rV1O5rwzPA

    sunday 22 may 8:57am

  • @gooddeedsociety: Any chance of a to get us started? Sharing good deeds to share a bit of positivity! #onegooddeed

    sunday 22 may 3:39am

  • @mindfuleveryday: Simple tips for happier living: be more present; learn how to relax your body; don't obsess over trying to be happy. ~…

    sunday 22 may 3:39am

  • @BeckySee123: Enjoying my Sunday and currently doing a few off this list. Sat in the sun waiting for friends to arrive for lunch. https:…

    sunday 22 may 1:18pm

follow us on twitter