Posts tagged with "Survey"

Too close for comfort? Most Americans prefer a ‘buffer zone” from family, in-laws

May 30, 2019

How close are you to your family—not only emotionally, but physically?  A new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults sponsored by Ally Home has found that, while you can’t choose your family, you can choose how nearby you live to them.

Indeed, consumers across all age demographics say keeping some healthy boundaries between where they live and where parents and in-laws are based makes for a happier family relationship.  

According to the survey respondents, a little distance between families goes a long way. More than half (57%) say there should be at least some driving distance between where their parents and/or in-laws live and their own homes. An even greater percentage of Gen Z (63%) and Millennial respondents (62%) believe some distance is healthy. Specifically, most respondents (27%) homed in on between 15 minutes and 45 minutes as the ideal distance range 

Among the other findings of the survey on preferences in family geography and relationships are the following:

  • Call first before popping in! More than one-third of respondents (37%) agree that family should not live close enough to just “pop in” and say hi. An even greater number of Millennials (42%) say they don’t like unannounced drop-ins.
  • Adults need their own space. Almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) say that, while they love their adult children, they don’t want them living with them. Millennials don’t like how things are trending, either. They worry more than any other age group that, at some point, they will have their adult children, and their parents or in-laws living with them (33% vs. 21% of the general population).
  • My family’s okay, but yours can keep their distance. When asked about their preferences for which family members could live nearby, respondents said my siblings (30%), my adult children (30%), my parents (29%), my in-law parents (25%), or my in-law siblings (24%).

The survey also presented respondents with a number of stress points and asked which ones ranked top when dealing with family. The top five responses included:

  1. Road trip with parents or in-laws, but no radio (52%),
  2. Dealing with a father or father-in-law whose political views oppose your own (40%),
  3. Living within five minutes of parents or in-laws (38%),
  4. Cooking a complicated meal for a mother or mother-in-law (31%), or
  5. Hosting family for the holidays (27%).

The online survey was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Ally Financial between April 17 and April 22.

Research contact: Andrea.Puchalsky@ally.com

OM can lead to OMG: Meditation is not for everyone

May 15, 2019

Meditation has been touted by millions worldwide for its ability to lower stress, zap anxiety, and increase focus, among other mental health benefits. But a study conducted at the University College of London has found that fully 25% of those who have tried it say that they don’t feel tranquil or serene; rather, they experience fear and distorted emotions, Study Finds reports.

Of 1,232 frequent meditation practitioners (people who have meditated regularly for at least two months) surveyed by researchers at the college, more than one-quarter admit they have had at least one “unpleasant experience” while meditating.

Researchers say suffering from an unpleasant meditative experience seems to be more prevalent among specific groups—among them, those who:

  • Attend a meditation retreat,
  • Only practice “deconstructive types” of meditation such as Vipassana (insight) and Koan practice used in Zen Buddhism, and
  • Experience higher levels of repetitive negative thinking.

Conversely, women and participants with religious beliefs were less likely to have a negative experience.

“These findings point to the importance of widening the public and scientific understanding of meditation beyond that of a health-promoting technique,” says lead author Marco Schlosser, a professor in UCL’s Division of Psychiatry. “Very little is known about why, when, and how such meditation-related difficulties can occur: More research is now needed to understand the nature of these experiences. When are unpleasant experiences important elements of meditative development, and when are they merely negative effects to be avoided?”

For the study, participants were surveyed online about their meditation history, and completed assessments that measure repetitive negative thinking and self-compassion. They were also asked, “Have you ever had any particularly unpleasant experiences (e.g. anxiety, fear, distorted emotions or thoughts, altered sense of self or the world), which you think may have been caused by your meditation practice?”

In all, 25.6% said they’ve had an unpleasant experience (28.5% of men, 23% of women). This was especially true for those who did not have a religious affiliation (30.6%), versus 22% who did hold religious beliefs. About 29% of people who had attended a meditation retreat reported negative experiences, compared to only 19.6% of those who had never attended one.

Researchers say the results show there needs to be a greater focus on the downside to meditating, as studies are typically centered around all the good the practice offers.

“Most research on meditation has focused on its benefits, however, the range of meditative experiences studied by scientists needs to be expanded,” says Schlosser. “It is important at this point not to draw premature conclusions about the potential negative effects of meditation.”

The study findings are published in the May 9 edition of the journal, PLOS One.

Research contact: @ucl

Coming clean: Americans actually ‘like’ this household chore

April 18, 2019

When it comes to tackling household chores, most people can identify a favorite task (or at least one they can tolerate), as well as a job that they would happily relinquish, according to findings of a survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by Clorox.

While favoring any chore feels like a stretch, some chores (such as vacuuming) certainly beat others (e.g., mopping), in terms of the amount of time and labor required to get them done.

Asked about their favorite task, more than one-third of respondents (37%) said they preferred doing the laundry, according to a report by Real Simple magazine.

The study—named “The Dirt on Spring Cleaning: American’s Top Cleaning Confessions”—also found that many homeowners were partial to cleaning the kitchen (chosen by 32%). And their least-favorite task? Organizing and dusting bedrooms, which is highly rated by only 11% of the survey cohort.

Clorox’s new survey shared a slew of other juicy cleaning facts: Most people are either Clean Freaks or Scramblers when it comes to tidying up, though Emotional Cleaners also are relatively common.

Fully 31% of respondents admitted that they never deep-clean their homes—or do it rarely—and 27% said that their microwave is splattered with unknown food.

Amusingly enough, a whopping 78% concede that they hide clutter or messes, mostly in a bedroom or closet, when cleaning in a rush.

The survey reveals that 93% of U.S. homeowners. are bothered by mess and dirt: Almost nobody likes living in a cluttered or dirty home. But how everyone tackles that mess can reveal a lot about different personalities and preferences—and maybe the key to a harmonious household is finding someone who will tackle the chores you like the least, and vice versa. Who knew cleaning could be so romantic?

Research contact: @Clorox

IKEA Israel offers 3D-printable add-ons to adapt its furnishings for the disabled

March 19, 2019

IKEA—a global retailer that is nearly as famous for its Swedish meatballs as it is for its self-assembled, affordable home furnishings—has started an initiative that will make its products more accessible and adaptable to customers with disabilities.

This month, Goodnet reports, IKEA Israel has teamed up with two NGOs, Access Israel and MILBAT—both of which focus on increasing accessibility for and inclusion of people with disabilities—to create the new ThisAbles line of furnishings.

The line comprises 13 add-ons—designed to be created on a 3D printer—that:

  • Make doors and closets open more easily,
  • Extend the legs of sofas and chairs to better accommodate sitting and standing,
  • Offer a place to attach walking sticks or canes to beds so they are easily accessible,
  • Make shower curtains easier to open and close with a large handle, and e
  • Protect other household furniture with special bumpers to attach at wheelchair levels.

“There is a large population of people with disabilities who cannot enjoy and use a variety of products, furniture and household items that we and our retail colleagues offer to the public,” CEO of IKEA Israel Shuki Koblenz told the Jerusalem Post in an interview, adding, “IKEA has vowed to create a better daily life for as many people as possible, and we feel it is our duty to create this initiative and allow people with disabilities to enjoy a wide range of products, furniture and household items.”

Before starting the new line of accessories, Access Israel conducted a survey in cooperation with IKEA—and found 130 furniture and household items that could be improved for people with disabilities. The accessories were designed by MILBAT, an organization dedicated to increasing the independence of disabled people by means of assistive devices and technology. it was a perfect fit, the three partners say.

In all four of its Israel-based stores, IKEA now has placed special tags that detail the suitability and benefits of the add-ons for people with different disabilities on the 130 items that can be modified by the ThisAbles.

The smart additions also will be displayed in a special area so that shoppers can view the items and see how they connect to existing products.

The full series of additions and the IKEA products that can be modified are available on the ThisAbless website along with helpful product training videos.

In addition, the ThisAbles line of products can be purchased on the MILBAT website—or people can scan the barcode of the new products to print independently in a 3D printer. This makes them readily available to people who live in other countries.

Today, according to Access Israel, over 1.6 million people—8% of the population—live with disabilities; around 700,000 of them, severe.

“I am convinced that this initiative will actually improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Israel and around the world,” Yuval Wagner, president and founder of nonprofit Access Israel, told the Jerusalem Post.

Research contact:  #ThisAbles

Mum’s the word: What mothers-in-law say about their daughters-in-law

December 11, 2018

It’s a fact of life that you don’t just marry a man or a woman; you marry their family–and their relationship with each member of that family—for better or for worse..

If a son is close to his mother, for example, many women would take that as a good sign–believing that, if he respects and loves the alpha female in his life, he also will be a good husband and provider.

Indeed, on a personal level, a woman might dream that she will be perceived by her partner’s mom as “the daughter she never had.” Meanwhile, his mom might have a fantasy of her own—assuming that, since her future daughter-in-law is ”crazy about her son,” this younger woman will appreciate every piece of advice about taking care of him and ensuring his happiness. After all, who knows him better than mom?

Wrong on both sides! In fact, fully 60% of women use words like “strained,” “Infuriating,” and “simply awful” to describe their mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, according to psychologist Terri Apter of the UK’s Cambridge University who attributes such rifts to “the clash of the fantasy lives,” in a 2009 Newsweek interview.

It’s the disappointment felt by both women that “gives these relationships their distinctive negative charge,” Apter says. Add to that a mother’s conflicted feelings of pride and loss as a son marries; a wife’s insecurity that she’s adequately balancing work and home responsibilities, and the tendency of most women to be more sensitive to slights and criticisms than men, and you have the formula for years of trouble.

In some respects, Apter says, the ensuing jockeying for position has a lot of similarities to the games “mean girls” play in middle-school hallways. “Each is the primary woman in her primary family. As each tries to establish or protect her status, each feels threatened by the other.”

However, for a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, the benefits of working toward and maintaining a close relationship cannot be overstated, as Geoffrey Greif and Michael Woolley—both academicians at the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland in Baltimore—found in a study published in November by the journal Social Work.

The study, also covered in the December 7 edition of Psychology Today surveyed 267 mothers-in-law  on the factors that they felt were key in establishing closeness with their daughters-in-law.

From a 114 item survey, the researchers used the statement, “My daughter-in-law and I have a close relationship” as a dependent variable. Among the factors they found that encouraged a close relationship were the following:

  • The mother-in-law perceives the daughter-in-law as being helpful;
  • The mother-in-law perceives her son is happy with the relationship she has with the daughter-in-law;
  • The mother-in-law perceives she and the daughter-in-law share similar interests;
  • The mother-in-law feels close with her son;
  • The mother-in-law does not feel left out by her daughter-in-law and son; and
  • The mother-in-law spends time with her daughter-in-law.

For those mothers-in-law struggling with their relationship with their daughter-in-law, a few takeaways emerged from the findings, the authors told Psychology Today—among them:

  • First, a mother-in-law should engage her daughter-in-law in ways and situations in which she can be helpful. Are there opportunities that are not being used where some level of mutuality can be built?
  • Second, similar to the first, a mother-in-law should try to find shared interests with a daughter-in-law because such joint activities can help to build a relationship
  • Third, look at the relationship the son/spouse plays in the relationship with the daughter-in-law. It goes without saying that most mothers want to be close with their son; when they are close, they are more likely to be close with their daughter-in-law also. To help build closeness with the son, the mother-in-law should recognize that building a relationship with her daughter-in-law may facilitate closeness with the son who is an extremely important person in this relationship.
  • Fourth, the mother-in-law should work to explore her own feelings of inclusion or exclusion. Feeling left out is not pleasant. If there are ways to try to understand what is leading to these feelings (remembering the demands that couples, especially those raising children, are experiencing), a path may be found to experiencing them less often

Finally, author Geoffrey Greif says, don’t get discouraged: Building a close relationship may require time, patience, and effort:

Research contact: ggreif@ssw.umarylandedu

Brits are wearing clothes once, for the ‘hashtag moment,’ before returning them

August 14, 2018

Buying clothes for a special event, tucking in the tags—and then returning them to the store the next day (hopefully, with no noticeable stains or stench)—is a notorious strategy of stingy shoppers. But today, people are doing it just for the social media status.

Indeed, based on findings of a recent poll conducted by payments company Barclaycard, and posted on Quartz, nearly 9% of UK shoppers admit to buying clothing only to take a photo on social media. After the outfit of the day makes it online, they return it to the retailer.

The survey of 2,002 adults showed that shoppers aged 35-44 are the most likely to do this, and, surprisingly enough. men outnumbered women. The study found that it is men who are more  socially self-conscious  than women – with 12%t posting a clothing item on social media and then returning it to an online retailer, compared to only 7% of women

According to Barclaycard, the introduction of “try before you buy” policies at online retailers—where people pay for clothing they ordered online after they’ve tried it on at home—could be contributing to this trend.

One major reason? The rise of social media means that everyone, not just celebrities, is expected to maintain and curate a personal brand. Since we’re constantly documenting our lives and posting them online for public comment, nobody wants to get caught in the same outfit twice.

There are brands that tailor specifically to the Instagram shopper, such as Fashion Nova. “These are clothes made for social media: meant to be worn once, maybe twice, photographed, and discarded,” Allison P. Davis wrote in her deep-dive about the company in New York Magazine’s “The Cut.” Another favorite of the Instagram age is Rent the Runway, which embraces the return philosophy and allows customers to rent designer clothing for a fee.

Some, however, are moving in the opposite direction. The concept of the “capsule wardrobe”—which calls for investing in a small number of high-quality pieces instead of lots of trendy, discardable clothes—also is making a comeback according to a recent report by The Washington Post.

And then there’s British fashion icon Kate Middleton  the Duchess of Cambridge, whose every outfit sells out in seconds, but who frequently wears the same outfit twice (as did former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, another trendsetter).

Research contact: Rebecca.butler@barclaycard.co.uk

Loneliness is reaching ‘epidemic’ levels in America

May 2, 2018

Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%), based on findings of a national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults sponsored by Cigna and conducted by Ipsos.

The new report, released on May 1, evaluated the subjective feelings of loneliness experienced by respondents using the UCLA Loneliness Scale—a 20-point questionnaire.

Indeed, UCLA researchers estimate that some 60 million Americans suffer from loneliness. And with millions of Baby Boomers now facing a radically shrinking social world as they retire from the workplace, see their children disperse, lose friends and family members to illness and death, the rising tide of loneliness has all the hallmarks of a widespread and costly epidemic.

Among the more alarming features of this epidemic, as identified by the Cigna/Ipsos survey are the following:

  • One in four Americans (27%) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them;
  • Two in five respondents sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43%) and that they are isolated from others (43%);
    One in fiveS. adults rarely or never feel close to people (20%) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18%);
  • Only slightly more than one-half of Americans (53%) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis;
  • Generation Z (age 18-22) is the loneliest   claims to be in worse health than older generations; and
    Very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).

Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2). Although they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.

“We view a person’s physical, mental and social health as being entirely connected,” said Cigna CEO David Cordani adding, “In analyzing this closely, we’re seeing a lack of human connection, which ultimately leads to a lack of vitality—or a disconnect between mind and body. We must change this trend by re-framing the conversation to be about ‘mental wellness’ and ‘vitality’ to speak to our mental-physical connection. When the mind and body are treated as one, we see powerful results.”

The survey also revealed several important bright spots. The findings reinforce the social nature of humans and the importance of having communities. People who are less lonely are more likely to have regular, meaningful, in-person interactions; are likely to exercise regularly; have achieved balance in daily activities; and are employed and have good relationships with their coworkers.

Research contact: elinor.polack@cigna.com

U.S. Senators: Who’s tops and who’s not

April 17, 2018

During the first quarter of 2018, Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) was rated the most popular Senator in the United States, with 72% approval from voters. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) came in dead last, with 52% disapproval.

Both rankings were based on a survey of more than 275,000 registered U.S. voters, conducted from January 1 through March 31, by Morning Consult  and released on April 12.

The Green Mountain State’s senators seem to have what it takes, grabbing the two preeminent slots overall. The senators from South Dakota and Wyoming—coming in at numbers three and seven; and five and six, respectively—also are supporting the voters’ agenda.

The full list of the top ten Senators (with the highest approval ratings nationwide, as established by Morning Consult) is as follows:

  1. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont): 72% approval
  2. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont): 65%
  3. John Thune (R-South Dakota): 62%
  4. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota): 60%
  5. Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming): 59%
  6. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming): 59%
  7. Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) 58%
  8. Angus King (I-Maine) 58%
  9. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota); 57%
  10. Jon Tester: D-Montana): 56%

On the down side, net approval for Mitch McConnell actually rose by three points during the first quarter, with 52% disapproving and 34% approving of his job performance. He remains the least popular senator.

Both senators from Arizona registered high disapproval ratings, coming in at numbers two and three. The list of the bottom ten senators is as follows:

  1. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky): 52% disapproval
  2. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona): 50%
  3. John McCain (R-Arizona): 48%
  4. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri): 44%
  5. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia): 44%
  6. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin): 42%
  7. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): 42%
  8. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) 41%
  9. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois): 40%
  10. Dean Heller (R-Nevada): 40%

The eight senators with the biggest declines last quarter—a net drop of nine points each or more—are all Democrats.

Joe Manchin, West Virginia, who is up for re-election in a state where 58% of voters approved of President Donald Trump during the first quarter, now finds himself  one point underwater— 43% approve, 44% disapprove—after a net slide of 17 points from fourth quarter, the biggest decline of any senator during that period.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, suffered a net decline of nine points, although she still has the approval of 47% of her constituents.

Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz  each dropped 13 points, while New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall fell nine points and ten points, respectively. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) and Senator Tom Carper of Delaware also slid nine points each.

Research contact: ceasley@morningconsult.com

Secret shame: When FOMO drives you into debt

April 10, 2018

Do you spend in response to social pressure or FOMO (fear of missing out)? Whether it is the cost of an after-work drink, a new outfit for a party, tickets to a concert, the latest smartphone, or an Uber ride, we all ante up in order to be “included” in the experiences of our closest groups of friends.

In fact, nearly 40% of Millennials have spent money they don’t have and gone into debt to keep up with their peers, based on findings of a poll of 1,045 U.S. adults conducted by Credit Karma/Qualtrics.

What’s more, they’re afraid to admit it.

When a friend suggests doing something they can’t afford, 27% of Millennials feel uncomfortable saying “no.” And out of the 39% of Millennials who’ve gone into debt to keep up with their friends, nearly three-quarters (73%) have kept it a secret.

What they may not realize is that some of their friends may feel the same way. Two-thirds of Millennials regret spending more on social situations than they had planned, and one-third (36%) doubt they’ll be able to sustain this lifestyle for another year without going into debt.

This is especially concerning given that Millennial Credit Karma members in the United States each already have $46,713 in debt on average. 

Specifically, what do Millennials spend on because they’re afraid to miss out?

  • Going out with friends and having a good time is one of the top types of FOMO spending, with nearly 60% buying food, while 33% buy alcohol.;
  • Fully 21% of Millennials admit they feel pressured to spend money they don’t have for parties or nightlife.
  • Four out of 10 Millennials who overspent to keep up with their friends made travel purchases. That could include a two-week vacation, a weekend trip with their significant other or a trip to attend a friend’s wedding.
  • One-quarter of Millennials who have spent too much to keep up with their friends purchased tickets to a music event, while 17 percent attended a sporting event.

But it’s not all about experiences. Many M feel pressured to buy items such as clothes (41%), electronics (26%), jewelry (18%) and cars (16%) even when they can’t afford them.

However, there is some good news: Credit Karma found that more than half of respondents seemed to have their FOMO spending habits under control. Fifty-three percent of Millennials say they make purchases they can’t afford to keep up with their friends no more than once a year, while 25% of respondents say they never make FOMO purchases.

But there’s room for improvement: 25% of Millennials who have a FOMO spend several times each year, while 21% of respondents admit to making these purchases at least once a month.

Credit Karma also looked at how much young Americans typically spend each weekend when they’re hanging out with their friends: Most (69%) spend $100 or less over a typical weekend; while 15% spend between $101 and $250; 16, more than $250; and 7%, more than $500.

These responses don’t account for differences in the cost of living across the country. So while $100 might be a lot to spend in some areas, it doesn’t go as far in other places.

According to Expatistan’s cost of living index, a fancy dinner for two would cost $119 in New York City compared to only $74 in St. Louis. And a cocktail out on the town would cost $16 in New York City but only $8 in St. Louis.

Finally, Credit Karma found that 78% of Millennials who responded have a budget, but 20% of them go over their budget on a monthly basis to keep up with their friends.

Research contact: @Greg-Lull

Anonymous survey finds Netflix pays more than other tech companies

December 5, 2017

Recently, Blind—the anonymous chat app that is being used surreptitiously by thousands of employees nationwide—asked followers who work at tech companies a sensitive question, Business Insider reports: Do you think you are paid fairly?

The answers, from over 4,000 respondents, were somewhat unexpected. For example, the tech workers who are happiest with their compensation are not employed at tech giants Google or Facebook; they are at Netflix, followed by Dropbox, NerdWallet, Twitch and Snapchat.

Conversely, based on the survey findings, the employees who are least happy with their earnings work at Walmart Labs. And 40% or more of employees polled at PayPal, Spotify and Twitter said they weren’t happy with their remuneration, either. In fact, 49% of all respondents were not satisfied with their salaries; leaving 51% who were.

As  to which companies had the most employees in this poll who were dreaming of leaving for the day and not returning? Groupon, HPE and Oracle each came in at around 90%.

Among the ten hottest tech companies today, Microsoft has the least loyal employees in this survey—with about 75% of its staff who responded that they are looking to leave.

Amazon also scored at the top of corporations that were not good at retaining staff, with about 60% of the company’s respondents on their way out the door.

Finally, it is little surprise that the most steadfast employees worked at Netflix, where respondents said they were happiest with their pay.

Research contact: blindapp@teamblind.com