Can we empirically quantify the impact of one ideology on another?

What if we could quantify our ideologies and use that data to empirically demonstrate the reciprocal impact of one ideology on another?

Hello Quantified Self friends. I’ve recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help me secure funding for a unique approach to participatory public policy-making. Inspired by the environmental movement and the concept of the carbon footprint, I want to develop a resource for individuals to quantify their own ideologies and use that data to discover their own “ideological footprint,” – their unique sphere of influence and impact based on their self-reported ideological preferences.

The Ideological Footprint Project is a broader application of my graduate thesis in Public Policy. My argument is simple: I do not believe it’s possible to pursue personal preferences without impacting others, and I don’t believe we should be ignorant of this fact when crafting public policy. Every economic and political preference we articulate and act upon is rooted in our ideology – our way of viewing the reality of the world and our view of the appropriate ordering of society. I’d like to show, empirically, exactly how our pursuit of our own preferences shapes and impacts others.

What impact does a self-described Libertarian’s ideology actually have on a self-described Socialist’s? What does the impact of the political behavior of a “values voter” actually have on an individual’s freedom to pursue their own ideological preferences? How much satisfaction from the consumption of goods can an individual gain while simultaneously ranking environmental concerns high on their list of political preferences? How useful are labels for understanding the actual impact of our economic, political and ideological preferences?

A great and growing body of data has been collected by members of the quantified-self movement on individual actions. The community has already recorded everything from exercise, shopping and sleeping habits. I want to quantify the hierarchy of values that make up an individual’s ideology and determine what impact their ideology has on others. I believe this project can be implemented within social media to reach a diverse group of users by making the ideological discovery process intuitive, interesting and easy to share with friends.

To that end, I am seeking funding for a website ( and a Facebook app that will engage users by asking personality, preference and ideology questions, building ideological profiles and highlighting users’ ideological footprints. We are offering a number of interesting rewards for financial backing, including ideological footprint t-shirts, hi-res ideological footprint infographics, academic memberships for social scientists and placement on the project’s advisory board. We would very much appreciate your support. The Kickstarter campaign link, our website and social media links are listed below.


I think this project might be of interest to the quantified self community and I look forward to your feedback.
-Jim Addoms
The Ideological Footprint Project

Very interesting project. I don’t know of studies targeting individuals, but at society level, numerous studies quantify the detrimental effects of religion on crime, juvenile mortality, teen pregnancy, life span etc. Perhaps the best such meta-analysis was published in the Journal of Religion and Society in 2005.