Using AI as a research analysis tool for social science data As evidenced by some recent posts, we are using ChatGTP-4 as a research analysis tool, especially for the narrative responses to many of our survey questions. Our methodological approach on the task of pulling out the main themes is to read through each comment, taking notes on themes which emerge and then run the data through ChatGTP using the following prompt: In a survey, participants were asked “[question]” Please group the following responses into a maximum of 5 themes with: A summary for each theme. 3 representative participant quotes for each theme. The total number of responses to each theme, regardless of whether multiple themes were mentioned in the same response. Use of AI and of ChatGPT in particular is increasing at an almost exponential level both inside and beyond academia. We would be remiss in our responsibility to…Read More
Q16: Which of the following describe(s) your situation, whether currently or at some point in the past?
Below are the data from Q16 in our survey. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Q16: Which of the following describe(s) your situation, whether currently or at some point in the past? (check all that apply) ChatGPT-4 analysis 9-22-23 Individuals’ Experiences and Perspectives Regarding Adventist Rules and Beliefs Executive Summary: This report synthesizes diverse experiences and perspectives on adherence to Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) rules and beliefs. Numerous themes emerged, portraying a shift from past concealment to contemporary openness regarding Adventist values. 1. Evolution from Concealment to Openness: 1.1 Past Concealment: Many individuals previously concealed aspects of their lives that were in conflict with Adventist rules. Example: “These are things I did in the past when I was much younger. I’m not hiding anything now.” 1.2 Acceptance of Present Self: A shift towards acceptance and openness about divergent lifestyles is noted. Example: “I am…Read More
Q15 Which of the following best describes how you present as a non-Adventist to the Adventists in your life?
Below are the data from Q15 in our survey. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Q15 Which of the following best describes how you present as a non-Adventist to the Adventists in your life? Themes generated on 9-22-23 using ChatGPT-4 Theme 1: Concealment of Belief Transition Summary: Participants exhibited a trend of concealing their transition away from SDA beliefs, predominantly to maintain harmony within familial and social relationships and to avoid potential confrontations and judgments. Representative Quotes: “I would never hurt my elderly parents. To them, I’m an Adventist who is private and doesn’t attend church.” “I keep it to myself. I don’t want to upset my parents.” “My fundamentalist in-laws would freak out, so they are in the dark.” Number of Responses: 23 Theme 2: Social Strains and Altered Relationships Summary: The experiences of several participants underscore the social strains and alterations in relationships…Read More
All quantitative surveys results Notes: Our research team is renewing its focus on the data we collected and you can expect regular updates in the coming weeks and months regarding our Ex-SDA survey. Qualitative data will be presented soon. We are using ChatGPT4 for our preliminary analysis. All quantitative data One primary goal of this research was to learn about the views of those somewhere on the “leaving/left’ SDA journey and then to share these data with the public. Our promise to those taking the survey was that (within ethical boundaries) we would share the results. Below we give access to all quantitative data from the survey(s). By clicking here you can see all of the quantitative data in frequencies form. These are the data from all 1011 respondents. Here are all the quantitative data from the Portuguese language version. Here we compare the quantitative data from the English…Read More
We’re back! After a long hiatus over the summer the research team is back and beginning to pour through the massive data set represented by the 1200+ responses to our survey. Political views To get things started, here is a glimpse at the results from Q33, “To what extent did your experience as an Adventist impact your political views?” Below are the aggregate responses. As you can see, most (62%) indicated that their experience as an Adventist impacted their political views at least a little, with over 26% indicating “a lot” or “a great deal.” Narrative responses But what of the narrative responses? Using ChatGPT1 to summarize the 303 responses, here are the results listed as the seven top themes and accompanies by representative quotations. The themes are ordered based on the number of comments fitting in to each theme. Theme 1: Growing Awareness and Change in Political Beliefs This…Read More
Former Adventist Survey done in 2011 [This is a guest post by Sandy Snelling Whetmore] During the summer of 2011, a closed Facebook group of former Adventists began thinking about the idea of a survey. New technology had allowed us to find others who had experienced similar journeys out of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and we had lots of questions for each other. We carried on long online discussions about our shared experiences, memories, doctrinal beliefs, and questions. Some of those threads went on for several days with new-found friends asking for clarification or objecting to statements they found inaccurate. The group was a source of encouragement, discovery, and acceptance. Several of us also participated in other similar groups where some of the same topics kept coming up. At one point, some of us landed on the idea of compiling specific questions that we thought would be helpful to explore…Read More
[Updated 4-30-23] Comparing data from the survey: update on Portuguese version of the survey Some numbers Live now and being spread by our Brazilian colleagues for just over a week, the Portuguese version of our survey has 129 responses. Combined with the English language version (n=950) that makes a total of 10791 respondents to date. Although we expect many more respondents before we close the surveys on June 1st, the preliminary results are quite interesting. What I’ll present below are just a few glimpses of the quantitative data thus far, comparing results from both versions of the survey. At this point we can begin to present the ‘what’ but can only offer conjecture as to the ‘why’ behind these numbers. Please allow me to share some beginning thoughts about these data, starting with the demographic makeup of the respondents, and then onto even more interesting numbers including the ‘cult’ question,…Read More
Our survey is now live in Brazil, translated into Portuguese Survey translated into Portuguese Our research team is excited to announce that our survey has been cloned and translated into Portuguese. This major contribution to our research effort was made possible through the work of André Kanasiro, editor and founding member of Zelota magazine. Thanks are due to senior staff at Spectrum Magazine1 for brokering this connection. Here is part of the conversation I had with André as we worked on the translation: Tom: Why you wanted to get the survey translated and live in Portuguese? André: I saw the news on the survey as told by Spectrum Magazine, and then I just knew we had to bring it to Brazil. Adventism in Brazil has massive evasion numbers (approximately 1.5 million people left the church from 2011 to 2020, while 2.2 million joined), and has a highly centralized, hierarchical…Read More
“Adventism only seems to reward certain people–affluent white cis men and those they deem worthy to be elevated.” -Alyssa Alyssa’s story The phrase ‘qualitative research data’ sounds impersonal and void of humanity, but what we as researchers know and respect is that each word shared is coming from a real person with a voice, a face, and a heart. As I read through the copious and generous comments written by each respondent I am humbled by the openness, awed by the passion, and saddened by some of the heartbreaking comments. After taking our survey one respondent felt a need to speak more about her experience with the Adventist church and sent us a direct email. Alyssa’s story is her’s to share and, with her permission and encouragement, we invite you to read her words, many of which -both in tone and content- are repeated by her fellow respondents. Please note…Read More
“As a social and as a personal force, religion has become a dependent variable. It does not originate; it reacts. It does not denounce; it adapts. It does not set forth new models of conduct and sensibility; it imitates. Its rhetoric is without deep appeal; the worship it organizes is without piety. It has become less a revitalization of the spirit in permanent tension with the world than a respectable distraction from the sourness of life.” -sociologist C. Wright Mills Respondent 666 The Mark of the Beast As we neared 600 respondents I joked with my collaborators that I wanted to feature the six hundred and sixty-sixth person who chose to complete our survey. This person of course would have no way of knowing they were the 666th respondent and there is absolutely no scientific significance to this number. That said, there are many layers of cultural richness around the…Read More