DOCTORAL DISSERTATION INDIGO STUDENT RESEARCH SURVEY

 

RESPONSE ANALYSIS

 

Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D.

 

  "The responses to Bruce's Survey reveal the best information that I have seen about the Indigos."  Nancy Tappe, the educator who first recognized the Indigos.

 

  

 

Objective

The objective of my Indigo Student Research Survey was to answer the question, “What are the organizational structures, processes, and/or programs that business Organizations will need and the skills and personal attributes that business Leaders will need to successfully support the Indigos as they populate the workplace?” Secondarily, “What impact will the Indigos have on the business world as they move into positions of Leadership?

 

Methodology

The survey was conducted by developing a questionnaire that would provide information about the student’s personal values, anticipated career choices, desired work environment, leadership preferences, and generational expectations and contributions. The questionnaire also included a list of Attributes – attributed to Indigos – developed by Wendy H. Chapman, MA Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut, Magna Cum Laude, and Director of the Metagifted Education Resource Organization in Nashua, New Hampshire. The students were asked to select those attributes from the Attributes List that best described them. The intent was to determine the extent to which the Survey audience matched Indigo Attributes.

The questions were designed as “open ended” questions to prevent any generational bias on my part. This made the data analysis more time consuming and challenging but provided answers that reflected the true thinking of the student’s generation. Granted, profiling the answers into “response categories” did require some judgment on my part, but my feeling was that any judgmental error on profiling the responses would be far less than having me define the answers, from a gap of two generations, from which the students would select their response.

To determine the lower boundary of the survey population, several students from the middle-school category were asked to complete the questionnaire. The lack of substantive feedback led me to focus on high school and college students.

Distribution of questionnaires was accomplished via hard copy and e-mail to global friends and business associates who had access to high school and college students, and directly to students encountered at banks, grocery stores, restaurants, leadership events, etc. No effort was made to categorize the students in any way. The only requirement was - being a student. One hundred completed questionnaires were tallied, analyzed and profiled.

 

Demographics

The survey audience included slightly more college students (51%), slightly more females (57%), and a majority of Americans (59%).  Students participating from other cultures included Mexican (16%), British (6%), French (4%), Pacific Islander (3%), Japanese (2%), Korean (2%), Laotian (2%), Filipino (2%), Irish (2%), Australian (1%), and Indonesian (1%).

 

 

Response Analysis by Question

 

1.      What do you have a “passion” for in life?

 

The responses were profiled into the eight categories depicted in Table 1.

 

Self Expression through
Art/Music/Writing

29%

Helping/Giving to Others

21%

Self Expression through
Sports/Athletics/Outdoor Activities

17%

Enjoying Life/Time for Self
Expressing Individuality

  8%

Succeeding in Career and Life Goals

  8%

Family/Friends/Culture

  7%

Furthering Education/Learning

  6%

Miscellaneous

  4%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Table 1. “Passion For” Profile

 

The largest response category (29%) reflects the passion for individual “self-expression through art/music/writing, etc.” Sample responses include:

·        “I love to express my artistic abilities, individuality, and spiritualness.”

·        “Music, it allows me to express the way I feel at the current time and just gives me an outlet to let things out.”

·        "Music – I love to experience the creativeness that can come from music.”

·        "Landscape design, drawing attention to possibilities through aesthetic means.”

 

The second response category (21%) reflects the strong passion for helping and giving to others. Sample responses include:

·        “Love for people.”

·        “Helping others better themselves.”

·        “Helping others overcome their perceived limitations.”

·       "Sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others.”

 

The third largest response category (17%) again reflects the passion for self-expression but in a different form – through sports/athletics/outdoor activities. Sample responses include:

·        “Flying and having fun in non-conventional ways.”

·        “Surfing – I love doing extreme outdoor things.”

·        “Anything by the beach – water sports, life guarding.”

·        “Travel and being outdoors.”

 

Typical responses to the remaining categories are as follows:

Enjoying Life/Time for Self/Expressing Individuality (8%)

·        “Enjoying life, I want to work to live not live to work.”

·        “Living life to the fullest by having a positive attitude and having fun in everything that I do.”

·        “Expressing my feelings to the world. I want people to know what I am feeling but not for pity.”

·        “Being”

 

Succeeding in Career and Life Goals (8%)

·        “Working hard”

·        “To be the best that I can be.”

·        “To be successful in everything I do.”

·        “I have a passion for success. I really love to try my hardest and do the best that I possibly can.”

 

Family/Friends/Culture (7%)

·        “Going to Mexico to see my family.”

·        “My culture (because I am a foreigner my culture is important).”

·        “My feelings and friendship with my friends and family.”

·        “A loving and secure family.”

 

Furthering Own Education and Learning (6%)

·        “Research biological systems.”

·        “Learning languages.”

·        “Discovering how things work.”

·        “Read and meet new people and going to different places.”

 

2.      What are you “committed to” in your life?

 

The responses were profiled into the three categories depicted in Figure 2.

 

Focus on Others

57%

Achieving a Specific Personal Goal

30%

Achieving a Specific State of Being

13%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 2. “Committed To” Profile

 

The largest response category (57%) reflects a commitment to focus on others. Sample responses include:

·        “Changing the ‘systems’ to help people in crisis.”

·        “Championing issues to quality of life as opposed to a more prevalent focus on quantity of life.”

·        “Help convicted criminals and study the mentally insane to figure out why they do what they do and then find a way to prevent some crime.”

·        “Giving back to others and being a role model for children.”

 

The second response category (30%) reflects the commitment to achieving a specific personal goal. Sample responses include:

·        “To succeed in life and be the first person in my family to go to college.”

·        “Becoming published.”

·        “To become a pilot.”

·        “To have a good advancing Military career.”

 

The third largest response category (13%) again reflects a commitment to self by achieving a specific state of being. Sample responses include:

·        “Being me”

·        “To be happy.”

·        “Being happy and successful.”

·        “Being happy with myself.”

 

3.      What are your three most important personal values?

 

The responses were profiled into the eight categories depicted in Figure 3.

 

Positive Self Defining Attribute

25%

Integrity/Trust/Honesty/Loyalty

23%

Positive Personal Attribute Relating to Others

19%

Family/Friends

16%

Achieve Personal Success/Goals/Material
Achievement

8%

Religion/Faith

4%

Education

3%

Miscellaneous

3%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 3. “Values” Profile

 

The largest response category (25%) reflects positive values that define one’s self. Sample responses include:

·        “Staying true to myself.”

·        “Open mindedness”

·        “Ambitious”

·        “Freedom and independence.”

 

The second response category (23%) reflects the values of integrity/trust/honesty/loyalty.

·        “Integrity”

·        "Loyal and truthful”

·        “Honesty”

·        “Trust/honesty”

 

The third largest response category (19%) again reflects the values associated with a positive personal attribute when relating to others. Sample responses include:

·        “Caring/loving/compassionate”

·        “Empathy for others.”

·        “Respect for all no matter what.”

·        “Treat others as you want to be treated.”

 

Typical responses to the remaining categories are as follows:

Family and Friends

·        “Family”

·        “Friends”

·        “Photograph of family members in the past.”

·        “Friendship and relationships.”

 

Achieve Personal Success/Goals/Material Achievement

·        ”Investments”

·        “House”

·        “Money”

·        “Self discovery and knowledge.”

 

Religion/Faith

·        “Being a reflection of Christ.”

·        "Talking about God to other people.”

·        “God”

·        “Faith”

 

Education

·        “College degree”

·        “School”

·        "Education”

·        “Studies”

 

 

4.      What, in life, is really not important to you?

 

The responses were profiled into the eight categories depicted in Figure 4.

 

Things That Would Normally
Impact Self-Confidence or Stature

29%

Material Possessions/Money

26%

Non-Productive Habits/Negativity

17%

Miscellaneous

  9%

Religion/Politics

  6%

Specific School Subjects

  5%

Sports/Entertainment

  5%

Specific Personal Relationships

  3%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 4. “Not Important” Profile

 

The largest response category (29%) reflects the unimportance of things that would normally impact self-confidence or stature. Sample responses include:

·        “I don’t need to be famous. I would prefer not to be.”

·        "Fitting in certain distinct groups of people.”

·        “What others think of me.”

·        “The popular choice.”

 

The second response category (26%) reflects the unimportance of material possessions/money. Sample responses include:

·        “Money, because it can’t buy me happiness.”

·        “Materialistic achievements”

·        “Fancy cars”

·        "Amassing wealth”

 

The third largest response category (17%) again reflects unimportance of non-productive habits/negativity. Sample responses include:

·        “Drugs”

·        “TV”

·        “Mean, selfish people”

·        “Working for a company you don’t like.”

 

The quoted responses to the remaining five categories are essentially reflected in the category titles.

 

 

5.      What career field do you plan to pursue?

 

The responses from 74% of the students were profiled into the nine categories depicted in Figure 5.

 

Corporate Business

22%

Education

19%

Self Employed

14%

Entertainment

11%

Small Business

  9%

Government

  8%

Law

  7%

Medicine/Healthcare

  7%

Social Work

  3%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 5. “Career Selection” Profile

20% of the students were “undecided” and 6% provided no response.

 

6.      What are the most significant skills and personal attributes that you want in your company’s leader(s) (president, director, manager, supervisor, etc.) for you to feel supported in expressing your skills and talents?

 

The responses were profiled into the eleven categories depicted in Figure 6.

 

Relationship with Employee

58%

Integrity/Honesty/Trustworthy

13%

Intelligent/Knowledgeable/Creative

  7%

Flexible

  6%

Passionate/Committed/Determined

  3%

Responsible/Loyal

  3%

Hardworker

  3%

Organized

  2%

Consistent

  2%

Confident/Strong Willed/Firm

  2%

Visionary

  1%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 6. “Desired Leadership Attributes” Profile

 

The largest response category (58%) reflects the importance of a positive personal relationship with his/her employees. The leadership attributes most often mentioned in this category were:

·        “Open-minded and approachable.”

·        “Good people skills.”

·        “Supportive”

·        “Motivator”

·        “Respectful”

·        “Friendly/Kind”

 

The second response category (13%) reflects the importance of a leader’s integrity, honesty and that he/she is trustworthy.

 

7.      What are the desired characteristics of your working environment that will allow you to fully express your skills and talents and allow you to feel fulfilled?

 

The responses were profiled into the thirteen categories depicted in Figure 7.

 

Fun/Easy Going/Peaceful

18%

Efficient/Organized

13%

Responsibility/Self Expression/
Autonomy

12%

Open/Flexible Atmosphere

12%

Teamwork

10%

Positive/Forgiving/Caring

  8%

Intelligent/Hardworking
Co-Workers

  6%

Professional/Honest

  6%

Support Resources/Learning
Opportunities

  4%

Leadership support

  3%

Material Compensation

  2%

Acknowledgement

  1%

Miscellaneous

  5%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 7. “Work Environment” Profile

 

The largest response category (18%) reflects the importance of a fun/easy going/peaceful work environment. Sample responses include:

·        “Light-hearted and not so serious.”

·        “Good atmosphere”

·        “Fun working environment.”

·        “Relaxed”

 

The second response category (13%) reflects the importance of having a working environment that is efficient/clean/organized/focused. Sample responses include:

·        “Optimally running”

·        “Organized”

·        “Sanitary”

·        “Privacy”

 

The third largest response category (12%) reflects the importance of the employees having responsibility/opportunity for self-expression/autonomy. Sample responses include:

·        “I can be myself and not have to put on a fake front. This allows me to express my skills and talents as I see fit.”

·        “To be left alone and let me do what I need to do.”

·        “Project responsibility”

·        “Sense of fulfillment for what has been accomplished.”

 

The quoted responses to the remaining ten categories are essentially reflected in the category titles.

 

8.      What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing your generation?

 

The responses were profiled into the four categories depicted in Figure 8.

 

Limiting Attitudes/Different Values

37%

Personal Challenges

25%

Needing to Fix Major Problems

20%

Drugs/Violence/Obesity

18%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 8. “Generational Challenges” Profile

 

The largest response category (37%) reflects the challenge of dealing with people who have limiting attitudes/different values. Sample responses include:

·        “Everybody looking at the negative aspects instead of the positive ones; judging people of my generation; making assumptions without knowing the whole story.”

·        “The self-centered nature of “Me.”

·        “Our generation has been labeled with so many stereotypes that they have lost their real identity.”

·        “Insecurities in general and lack of role models.”

 

The second response category (25%) reflects the awareness of the student’s personal challenges. Sample responses include:

·        “Discovering our self-worth and applying it to the harsh realities of life as we try to fit a niche within the political atmosphere around us.”

·        “Competition with others.”

·        “Keeping up in school, say no to peer pressure (drugs, alcohol), finding the right job.”

·        “My race. Where I come from.” (Hispanic)

 

The third largest response category (20%) reflects the challenge of needing to fix major problems. Sample responses include:

·        “Greed. Capitalism as king in domestic and foreign affairs. Lack of the bigger picture. No systems view of repercussions of actions. Short-sightedness. The 'dumbing down' of America. Influence of TV that stunts personal growth. Lack of values.”

·        “Finding ways to lead to unity which is becoming crucial. Unity within ourselves, unity within our families (divorce rate is just too high), unity among countries (the military weapons are just too destructive), unity with nature (healing the earth). Cleaning up what we inherited and making it better for the next generation.”

·        “Handling what is laid before us.”

·        “The education system because of low budgets.”

 

The fourth category (18%), drugs/violence/obesity, is self-evident.

 

9.      What major contributions would you like to see your generation make that will positively impact the business world and significantly enhance personal satisfaction in the workplace?

 

The responses were profiled into the eight categories depicted in Figure 9.

 

Valuing People/Equality/
Cooperation/Support

39%

Contribute to Change With
Vision/Purpose/Skills/Intellect

20%

Miscellaneous

  9%

Advanced Technology

  9%

Provide More Jobs

  8%

Improve Business
Focus/Ethics/Morals

  6%

Open Mindedness/Liberal

  6%

Work Harder

  3%

 

 

Total

100%

 

Figure 9. “Major Contributions” Profile

 

The largest response category (39%) reflects the desired contributions associated with valuing people/equality/cooperation/support/balance. Sample responses include:

·        “Supporting a more diverse work environment.”

·        “Remember what it means to respect others.”

·        “I would like to see the workplace look up to the team and not the hero, for without the weakest link there would be no strongest link. I just [want] for everything to be united and stable, no highs and lows.”

·        “International team at work (with no dominant culture).”

 

The second response category (20%) reflects the desire to contribute to change with vision, purpose, and intellect. Sample responses include:

·        “I think we could bring a new style of thinking into the workplace as well as come up with ingenious products/technology/views with the knowledge we have and are always accumulating.”

·        “I expect our generation to make an effort on helping this world to make a better place and a difference in people’s lives and the thing that could change is the Army. We don’t need war.”

·        “A fresh new look or way of doing things.”

·        “Have a clear purpose of why?”

 

The quoted responses to the remaining categories except improve business focus/ethics/morals and open-mindedness/liberal are essentially reflected in the category titles. The remaining two are: improve business focus/ethics/morals. Sample responses include:

·        “Have good business ethics and standards. When I open my own business, I am going to build it upon a strong foundation of morals and business ethics.”

·        “Change the financial measure of the company!  The stock market has become insane.”

·        “A positive impact on the business world would be to not focus on profit – but obviously this could never happen.”

·        “Ethics”

 

Open Mindedness/Liberal

·        “Open minded”

·        “Perhaps people of my generation being selected for jobs not based on their appearance or leisure activities, but on what they can bring to the company and their work ethic.”

·        “To be open -minded, speak our mind.”

·        “More liberal and free-spirited.”

 

Indigo Attributes Profile

The 23 Indigo Attributes listed below were plotted to correlate the number of attributes matched vs. the number of students that matched “N%” of the attributes. For example, in Figure 10, 13 students matched 59% of the attributes, 12 students matched 36% of the attributes, 5 students matched 68% of the attributes, 1 student matched 91% of the attributes and 1 student matched 100% of the attributes.

The plot approaches a “normal distribution.” It is expected that a larger survey sample would reveal a full normal distribution and that as the younger Indigos develop, the distribution will shift to the right.


  

 

Indigo Attributes

 

1.          Have strong self-esteem.

2.          Have an obvious sense of self.

3.          Have difficulty with discipline and/or authority.

4.          Do not like to follow orders or directions.

5.          Very impatient.

6.          Get frustrated by structured systems, routines, or processes that require little creativity.

7.          Often see better ways of doing things at home, school, or work.

8.          Resist conforming to other’s desires or trends.

9.          In general, always want to know “why,” especially when asked or told to do something.

10.      Get bored easily with routine tasks.

11.      Are very creative.

12.      Good at mental multitasking – can do many things at once.

13.      Display strong intuition.

14.      Have strong empathy for others, or 

15.      Have no empathy for others.

16.      Developed abstract thinking very young.

17.      Are gifted and/or talented and/or highly intelligent.

18.      May have been identified or suspected of having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

19.      Are a talented daydreamer and/or visionary.

20.      Have spiritual intelligence and/or psychic skills.

21.      Often express anger outwardly and may sometimes have trouble with rage.

22.      May need support to facilitate self-discovery.

23.      Are here to help change the world – to help us live in greater harmony and peace with one another and improve life on the planet.

Adapted from attributes originally developed by Wendy H. Chapman, MS at http://www.metagifted.org.


 

Percent of Attributes Matched

Number of Students Matching

 

0%

 

1

5%

0

9%

0

14%

1

18%

2

23%

2

27%

2

32%

9

36%

12

41%

10

45%

7

50%

8

55%

5

59%

13

64%

9

68%

5

73%

2

77%

3

82%

2

86%

5

91%

1

95%

0

100%

1

 

 

Figure 10. Indigo Attributes – Percent of Attributes Matched

  The 23 attributes were profiled to determine the predominance of each attribute – the percentage of students selecting each attribute. Figure 11 illustrates that the predominate attribute, “Have strong empathy for others,” was selected by 84% of the students while “Have no empathy for others” was selected by only 4% of the students.

 

 

Attribute

Students Matching

Have strong empathy for others.

84%

Have an obvious sense of self.             

73%

Often see better ways of doing things at home, school, or work.      

70%

Are a talented daydreamer and/or visionary.

66%

Are very creative.  

66%

In general, always want to know “why,” especially when asked
 or told to do something.

66%

Display strong intuition.

65%

Good at mental multitasking – can do many things at once.

65%

Are here to help change the world –  to create harmony and
 peace with one another and improve life on the planet.

65%

Have strong self-esteem.

64%

Get bored easily with routine tasks.

61%

Are gifted and/or talented and/or highly intelligent.

60%

Get frustrated by structured systems, routines, or processes
 that require little creativity.

51%

Developed abstract thinking very young.

49%

Resist conforming to other’s desires or trends.

43%

Have spiritual intelligence and/or psychic skills.

33%

Very impatient.

29%

Have difficulty with discipline and/or authority.

27%

May need support to facilitate self discovery.

22%

Often express anger outwardly and may sometimes have
 trouble with rage.

20%

Have been identified or suspected of having ADD or ADHD.

13%

Do not like to follow orders or directions.

12%

Have no empathy for others.

4%

 

 

Figure 11. Indigo Attributes – Percent of Attributes Matched

 

 

Survey Conclusions

The survey results provide additional perspective on the Indigos and supports deeper insight into the traits defined by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober and the hunter-gene behavior described by Tom Hartmann in his book, The Edison Gene.

The Indigos have a very strong passion for uninhibited self-expression and are committed to serving others, so they too might experience their right to a life of equality and self-expression. Their values reflect a strong self who is committed to living a life that is guided by personal integrity in the pursuit of freedom, commitment to truth, openness, inclusiveness, respect for all things, and self-expression through service. Their strong sense of self facilitates a self-directed life where success is measured by what one “experiences” rather than what one “accumulates.” They will pursue career options that provide unlimited self-expression and the opportunity to bring truth to situations that are out of integrity.

One might think because of all of the controversy surrounding large corporations that the Indigos might choose to avoid the corporate world. Fortunately, the data indicates that this is not so. We need the Indigos’ creativity and keen insight to help bridge the gaps of unmet expectations. Many will, however, chose entrepreneurialism to have the autonomy to bring their creative endeavors to unencumbered fruition.

The Indigos will work best with a leader who demonstrates a personal interest in their life and professional development. He/she is there to serve, guide, and coach them. He/she will have impeccable integrity, be an excellent communicator, and inspire the team to excel for the benefit of all concerned.

The Indigos want to work in an environment that is fun, well organized, and efficient. They want responsibility, autonomy, and an atmosphere of flexibility. They will develop strong personal relationships with their co-workers. Community is important to the Indigos and they will support each other with integrity, openness, transparency and compassion.

Nameste!

This information is free and available for you to print out and copy for your personal use.
Its Copyright by Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D. prohibits distribution or sale in any form except by the publisher.