4Quad Political Ideology Diagnostic

Keene State College (NH)

A free tool to use in courses to break down ideological stereotyping.

This guide to productive political discourse, coupled with critical thinking activities, increases students’ abilities to engage in deliberative dialogue and explore complex political policy and issues. When paired with critical thinking activities, students gain an average of four points on the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) within one course, compared to increasing three to four points over the span of an entire collegiate career.

How to use this resource

This exercise is used as a basis for generating initial discussion about a two-dimensional ideological preference framework. The Political Diagnostic is designed to provide anonymity for the individual, while still allowing for group discussions to build upon the collective distribution by probing a group about its “center of gravity” within the framework.

The 4Quad Diagnostic is readily available for campus utilization and this workshop will prepare faculty and staff from across the country to utilize the tool, frame the ideologies, and a wide range of activities. Employing the diagnostic can enhance civic engagement initiatives across the campus, diffuse and deepen difficult dialogues, and provide students with greater clarity in understanding the views and policies of political candidates.

  • Respondents answer eight questions on different matters of public policy, with four possible answers for each question. The questions concern K-12 schooling, environmental policy, higher education policy, responses to poverty, gender, immigration, the US political process, and financial markets and Wall Street. The possible answers represent four ideological positions: conservative, modern liberal, radical, and classic liberal. Participants indicate how strongly they agree with each answer they choose, from a lot to not at all.
  • After participants take the 4Quad Diagnostic online, they see a four-quadrant screen with each of the four ideological positions. Respondents’ answers are plotted on the screen to show their ideological positions.
  • In a group setting, a facilitator can show both the group responses to each question and then a composite of all the responses.

Questions about the 4Quad Political Ideology Diagnostic? Let us know.

"*" indicates required fields