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Please help me document your criteria for thriving

Please help us with some vital research for ReGenMatch!

What is important or significant for you when looking for

  • a project to work on,
  • a community or ecovillage to live in,
  • another person to start something with

where you can really thrive?

I'm asking you for a conversation to clarify one (or more if you like) criteria into a set of descriptions. Ideally I would like to choose ones that are not already in the examples index; but also I would very much value refinement of the ones that are there. This will help us build a bank of questions that matter to people like you, and I hope also this will offer you the chance to be clearer about what or who you are looking for, or how to assess them.

Or, if you already have a project, community, etc. …

Then, I ask you to speak for the project / community / ecovillage that you are part of. If you are collectively looking for new people to join you, what characteristics of a person are significant to your sense of that person being able to fit in with others, and help the group thrive?

I'll be most grateful, as this will be helping us prepare for a prototype of ReGenMatch, and later on a full CHOICE system. Maybe it will actually help you to find just those kind of people who you are looking for, and who are also looking for people like you. You can read more by following the links; or you're equally welcome to ask me personally directly.

One point of great interest, to note, is that, in order to develop a scale on which people can self-identify, we can't put negatively valenced items in the list, as any obvious valence is likely to skew responses: if it's positively valenced, the Dunning-Kruger effect is likely to mean people over-identify at the “good” end; while people suffering from low self-esteem (for any reason) or severe self-doubt may over-identify with the “bad” end of a scale — if there are good and bad ends.

This means that to get to a useful scale, we have collectively to step into the mindset of people who may have a different worldview. This can be a very useful ability.


I've outlined or drafted some, and I would like to put yours here too, please! Here's the examples index.

For a good (external) example of a self-assessment grid, look at the CEFR self-assessment grid. Note how the wording makes it fairly easy to identify with the different levels of the different kinds of ability. Or try it here, copied onto my own site.

For an example of a grid that I take as promising but inadequate, see my copy of the Pathways to Liberation Self‐Assessment Matrix. The good side is that it addresses several capabilities that are important for getting on well with other people; but the reason I assess this as inadequate for self-assessment is that there is a very clear bias of valence between the negatively-valenced left of the table, where people are characterised as naive, inexperienced or even ignorant, and the right side, which is clearly where the writers of the table think we should all be aiming, if we are not there already.

I see this as risking inaccurate self-assessment in two ways. First, the relatively well-known Dunning–Kruger effect leads many less experienced people to overestimate their ability. Second, conversely and less well documented, it seems clear to me that many people who are less confident of themselves tend to underestimate their ability. I see this latter effect as related to, though distinct from impostor syndrome.


From what I have seen, there appears to be little written on the web about the problems inherent in self-assessment, and how to make self-assessment as reliable as possible. But helping people make relatively accurate and stable self-assessments is central and vital to the success of the CHOICE and ReGenMatch projects. While it would be possible to restrict assessment of individual qualities, values, competences, etc. etc. to those attested by others, in practice this would be both highly unreliable in itself, and also perhaps at least an order of magnitude slower. So, instead, CHOICE embraces self-assessment, and rather than focusing on the inherent unreliability, takes various measures to increase its reliability.

ch/research_criteria.txt · Last modified: 2023-11-28 14:24 by simongrant