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Steps Toward Characterizing A Worldview: #1 Basic Choices

instructions: For each area of focus below, based on your knowledge of the worldview you are characterizing (which could very well be your own!), make a selection from the two choices in the vertical attribute columns and make another from the two choices in the horizontal attribute columns. There are eight selections to make altogether-- two for each area.   If you first use your mouse to highlight the table below and then print it out, your selections can be made by circling the appropriate choices.  Note: If there is no clear preference in a particular area between the two named choices, circle the "or" in between them to indicate this. If you are unsure as to the meaning of the terms marked with a *, see the Glossary entries below.  Below these entries (at the bottom of this page) you'll find a place to click to follow up / go to the next step if you wish...

area of focus  

vertical  attribute    


horizontal attribute

how the individual relates to    new  experience and knowledge, including receptivity to feedback, the basis for know ledge, the orientation adopted and tools used for  knowledge acquisition
  open-minded or values cognitive consistency*   values faith* or values reason*
an individual’s interaction with another individual (or with himself or herself) with respect to the underlying driving motivation and the extent to which thinking, feeling, and doing—and related behaviors —are under control. 
  calm, restrained, responsible or chaotic, problematic   intolerant pain or generosity, love
an individual’s relationship to groups of other individuals — including the whole society he or she is part of — and participation in activities (including earning a livelihood) associated with these groups. 
  hierarchical rigidity* or egalitarian progressive*   individualism* or collectivism*
an individual’s relationship to the natural world and how his or her support of, or participation in, activities (including daily lifestyle, earning a livelihood, etc.) impact nature.
  human-centered or nature centered   freedom from limits or values limits and ethics*

Note: Beyond fitting worldview themes into "diamonds," "hearts," "clubs," and "spades" categories a more precise categorization of them is provided by numerically ranked attributes of "thinking," "feeling," "joining," and "doing," or TFJD codes. 


cognitive consistency--facts, beliefs, and values that are consistent with each other. Unlike the cognitive dissonance experience which produces discomfort, those valuing cognitive consistency find comfort in not seeking out and/or ignoring facts, beliefs, and values that would necessitate some revising of their associated worldview framework.

collectivism—a social philosophy / belief system that emphasizes the interdependence of every human being and values co-operation over competition 

egalitarian progressive —associated with valuing equality, belief that all human beings should have the same rights, opportunities and privileges, and with progress involving gradual social, political, and economic reform

ethics—the study of wrong and wrong in matters of conduct                                  

faith—firm belief, complete confidence and trust in something for which there is no proof, often associated with religion and typically linked more to the one's  feelings / emotions  than one's rational / analytical side  

hierarchical rigidity—associated with accepting inequality and with a typically centralized organizational / power structure based on adhering  to rules, conforming in a cultural and/or moral sense, and valuing the status quo  

individualism—a social philosophy / belief system that places individual interests and rights above those of society, and individual freedom, self-reliance and independence above any social contract obligations

reasonthe basis for a rational belief system: one supported by facts and concepts, ultimately linked to observation and experience, which fit together in a coherent way as part of a useful, logical framework. It is linked to the thinking rather than emotional aspects of human beings.  

Proceed to the next step in characterizing a worldview: #2 Refining Choices