NEWS30 March 2022

People ‘more united in values’ than assumed in UK

Behavioural science News Trends UK

UK – Despite a general feeling of division within the UK, people are much more united in their values than might be assumed to be the case, according to research from Channel 4.

Screenshot of Different Not Divided website

The research project, conducted in partnership with MRX agency Versiti, examined modern Britain to help brands better understand UK consumers. 

The study found that individuals are 3.6 times more likely to agree with a stranger on the street than disagree, and people are only divided on around one in 10 issues, many of which are not of vital importance, for instance, grocery shopping, listening to ‘new’ bands, or being career-driven.

When it comes to alignment of attitude amongst certain age groups, the study found young people are the most diverse in their attitudes and the least likely to agree with each other, whereas the 55+ age group is the most aligned. This finding makes it more challenging for marketers to predict the attitudes of the 15-24s versus older age groups.

Furthermore, the youngest and oldest cohorts are the most different in their attitudes, with only an 18% similarity in the extent of their agreement. But despite this, they are only genuinely divided disagreeing with each other 23% of the time.  

The study also finds that division happens when people are forced to choose a side, an example being the Brexit referendum. However, even when it comes to Brexit, those who are pro-EU and those who are anti-EU have an 83% similarity in the extent of their attitudes. 

In terms of the issues on which people agree and disagree the most, the study found that of the 50 things people agree on the most, half are to do with our values and beliefs: ethics, politics, society and lifestyle. In terms of the 50 things people agree on the least, more than half are to do with our tastes and opinions: media consumption, shopping and retail, leisure and clothing. Five of the top 20 statements people agree on most are to do with gender roles and how outdated they are.

When it comes to societal issues the study showed there is far more unity than division, especially across big issues such as diversity, equality and the environment. Furthermore, Britain is aligned on its desire for fairness, although sometimes there are differences in how best to achieve it.

Clare Peters, client strategy & comms partner at Channel 4 said: “We strive to develop research that helps brands better understand their customers and how to navigate different views and opinions.

“This deep dive into the current state of the nation clearly indicates there is a role for brands to play in important societal topics and that we are more united in our views than we may think. This research empowers brands to be part of this conversation and shows how to help consumers make better choices for themselves, society as a whole and the planet.”

The full survey findings can be accessed here.