Being, feeling and aspiring to be independent is a trait associated with those who do not want to be influenced, helped or controlled by others, particularly when making important personal decisions. Our data suggests that such people are 50% more likely to be male. This fits with the stereotype that a man tends to need to “stand alone” to be a man, while a woman tends to feel more comfortable “fitting in”. That said, there are still plenty of women who are attracted to the Independent proposition – and plenty of men who are not.
This kind of person sets their own path in life, because it feels important to decide what they do for themselves. With a strong faith in their approach to life, often they are perfectly happy to make decisions without consulting others, because they do not feel a need to follow the crowd and do what everyone else wants them to do. They enjoy feeling free to plan and choose activities by themselves. They are quite happy enjoying their own company, keeping themselves to themselves, without the need to socialise or make new friends.
Valuing this attribute indicates that such a person is rarely influenced by other people’s values and does not worry about meeting the expectations of those around them. What other people think of them rarely changes the way they think, feel or act. For example, they do not succumb to the social pressure to lose weight and look like some sort of Aphrodite or Adonis all of the time. They are not at all self-conscious about their body shape and it makes them feel sad for those who are obsessed with being thin.
It takes a great deal to ruffle the feathers of these confident and self-assured individuals, primarily because they do not worry about the small things – they don’t “sweat the small stuff”. That said, obscure laws and petty rules will get them heated to the point where they may question, challenge, or even disobey such guidelines.
This is also true for themselves, where they are quite willing to change their own ideas about the world, particularly if it means that their emerging values and beliefs correspond with the new, unique and independent lifestyle that they are creating.
This kind of person is not a natural follower, preferring the freedom to make their own way in life. We have no evidence to suggest that such people want to influence or persuade others, only that they do not want others to influence or control them.
In short, these are people who are confident in themselves and their own ability. These individuals do not need society to ensure a safe and just world — they feel confident enough to face the challenges of life without the need for strong social structures and institutions to support them.
1) Over-indexed: Male, 45-54.
2) Under-indexed: Female, under 35.
Independent espousers also espouse 33 other Attributes. The top five most highly correlated Attributes of Independent espousers are, in order of the strength of relationship:
In total those who espouse independent also over-index significantly on 36 other Attributes.
If "Independent" (or the associated attributes) are important to you and you would like to delve more deeply, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org