Behind Pew Research Center’s 2021 political typology

(Pew Research Center illustration)

History of the typology

How we did it this year

Questionnaire development

Cluster analysis to create the typology groups

2 methods * 24 possible combinations of variables * 5 different numbers of clusters (2,3,4,5,6) = 240 possibilities

10 methods * 50 choose 20 measures = about 4.7 trillion combinations * 5 different numbers of clusters = a really big number

Exploratory phase

Initial solutions

Refinement

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Brad Jones

Pew Research Associate; Political science PhD; board game aficionado