Societal Value Matching – How does it work?

By Ron Rivers,

OurSociety – Societal Value Matching

Societal Value Matching is a core part of the OurSociety platform.  It enables users like you to make the correct choices when electing your local representatives without having to invest the time and effort into combing through many different websites to collect information about the potential candidates.  We believe that the first step in creating a more collaborative and transparent democracy is having more participation; so we’ve made it easy.

Our database currently contains 500 questions over 27 different categories.  Those categories are as follows:



Every question you answer will fit into one of these categories.  The questions we ask do not have correct answers; rather they just care about how you feel about the answer.  Our Societal Value Matching will work best if you are honest and direct with your answers.

Questions will be presented in a multiple choice format:

We use a 5-Point Scale and/or a Yes/No choice combined with an Importance Multiplier to help determine the value of this specific question to you.  If you need more time to think about the question (some of them are tough!) you can select the Answer Later option in the top right corner of the question.  Report this Question is found in the bottom left corner and designed to be used to help us keep our content within OurSociety guidelines.  While the initial 500 questions are all approved we will allow Citizen and Representative users to submit questions for the public to answer.  We love questions that make you think and won’t tolerate offensive questions, but at times we may miss something.  The reporting feature allows the OurSociety community to help keep the platform aligned with its core purpose.

How we Match

Our Societal Value Questions allow us to show you how you compare to your local elected representatives as well as potential representative candidates who are running for office.  Each time you view an individual user’s profile you see how the two of you match on specific categories, initially displaying your 4 most similar and 4 least similar but expandable to view all.  These matching percentages are unique to you and provide an overall picture of how this person aligns with your values.  Our surveying has determined that people are more interested in voting for a candidate who aligns highly with them on their top 1-3 core issues rather than someone who is moderately aligned with them on multiple issues.

How Do I Know I Can Trust My Matching Score?

We know that no calculation is perfect, but we employ specific formulas to help negate potential abuse of the platform and protect your privacy. We only calculate matches based on the common set of answers between you and a representative. We also introduce a margin of error to be even more honest and truthful! You’ll almost never see a 100% match because of this, and the more questions you answer, the more accurate our formulas will be.


When we developed our Societal Value Matching we had a lot of tough questions to face; paramount was privacy.  We believe that every individual has the right to privacy when it comes to their individual question answers; that right does not end when someone is elected to be a public representative.  Answers to specific individual questions are not visible; only their relation to your personal answers.  This is both out of respect for privacy and to prevent the possibility of abuse of our platform.

Citizen users are not visible to anyone else on the platform unless they choose to be by running for office or becoming an elected official.  Your answers and/or matching is not visible to anyone; we thought this was important to maximize the benefit that OurSociety provides to you.  Again, we encourage you to be as truthful and thoughtful with your answers as possible to get the most value out of OurSociety.


OurSociety believes in transparency as a core principle of what we are trying to create and provide the citizens of the U.S.  The data we collect will never be sold and/or given to to any person/party for any reason whatsoever.  OurSociety will use the data to identify value trends anonymously among citizens in towns, regions, and states and publish that data for the public to see and use.  One of our core principles is to create a more collaborative democracy – we believe that one of the best ways to accomplish this is to use data to provide real direction that accurately reflects the needs and desires of our user base.  If you have any questions regarding our data practices please email us at


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