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New Quiz Helps Americans Discover Their “Keep Good Going” Style

Research Reveals Four Different Approaches Americans Take to Cultivate Good in Their Lives
Quiz Offers Insight Into How You Perpetuate Goodness in Your Life And How to Do It More
When Asked To Choose The Moral of a Popular Movie to Define What is Important In Life, Largest Group Picks “It’s a Wonderful Life”

NEW YORK, November 12, 2013—Although most Americans believe that being a good person is extremely important (77%), just two in five (41%) feel they’re fully on the right track. How can more people feel confident that they’re heading in the right direction? It starts by gaining a better understanding of how each person approaches and defines goodness in his or her own life.

The latest edition of the Keep Good Going Report from New York Life reveals four core segments of Americans based on the fundamental differences in how they identify and cultivate goodness in their lives: Good Leaders, Good Nesters, Good Workers and Good Strivers. The findings are based on an analysis of responses from more than 2,000 Americans that explores their values related to family, personal life, work and community.

The data from the report has been converted into a user-friendly online quiz,, that allows Americans to discover their own “Keep Good Going style”. Launched today, this quiz is designed to give people insight into their own approach to living a good life and how they can do even more to successfully perpetuate goodness.

“We hope Americans will use the Keep Good Going Quiz as a fun, engaging way to learn more about themselves and perhaps gain some additional awareness of what else they can do to promote goodness for themselves, their families and their loved ones,” said Liz McCarthy, who leads communications at New York Life.

Defining Americans’ Keep Good Going Style
Good Leaders

Twenty-six percent of Americans who participated in the Keep Good Going survey are Good Leaders. Good Leaders are keeping good going in all aspects of their lives: personal, family, work, and community. Good Leaders are generally optimists and have a firm grasp on how to be happy. They are kind, considerate and good friends to others. Good Leaders are comfortable with their financial situations, active in their community, and tend to be more politically active as well. Despite their optimism, Good Leaders express concern about the direction of society and how others are perpetuating good. But overall, individuals in this group are successfully keeping good going and serve as role models for perpetuating goodness.

Good Nesters

Twenty-four percent of Americans who participated in the Keep Good Going survey are Good Nesters. Good Nesters are focused squarely on their families. They place high importance on their relationships with their children, and so they tend to focus on promoting goodness in their own home rather than in their communities. Good Nesters are more secure financially than other segments and feel strongly that more money would not buy them more happiness. Among all four segments, they feel strongest about the statement: “What a person has is less important than who a person is.” Good Nesters are generally content with their lives and try to live with great integrity.

Good Workers

Twenty-nine percent of Americans who participated in the Keep Good Going survey are Good Workers. Good Workers keep good going by focusing on work and family and strive to find balance between these two aspects of their lives. They tend to be hard-working and work-centric. They are generally positive about society and others, believing that most Americans are hard-working and that, in general, Americans have not lost track of what is important. Good Workers are the most positive segment when it comes to their beliefs about the direction of our country. At the same time, they are skeptical about whether hard work alone can help people achieve the American Dream. Good Workers who are parents recognize the importance of education for their children as one way to succeed.

Good Strivers

Twenty-one percent of Americans who participated in the Keep Good Going survey are Good Strivers. Good Strivers believe that life is not easy, and while they want to keep good going in their family, work, personal and community lives, they aren’t able to focus on it because they believe it is hard in today’s world. They point to their need for greater financial success to be able to perpetuate good. Good Strivers prioritize creating loving relationships with their children and believe they have strong interpersonal skills; they are polite and considerate to others and live with integrity. However, Good Strivers don’t see the good they give out coming back to them in the same way. While Good Strivers admit they don’t always have the most positive attitudes, they feel they approach life with a healthy level of skepticism.

“Understanding your Keep Good Going style is fun, and it can lead to greater happiness. After you take the quiz, you get simple, actionable steps you can use to perpetuate and expand the good in your life,” said Christine Carter, Ph.D., sociologist, author of Raising Happiness, and independent consultant to New York Life. As part of the online quiz, Dr. Carter offers specific tips for each Keep Good Going Style.

Movie Choice Helps Define Keep Good Going Style

One of the questions on the quiz asks: “Which one of these morals, as depicted by popular movies, do you think does the best job of reminding you what’s important in life?” Here is how Americans responded:

Moral: Be thankful for the life you have and live it to the fullest.
Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life..............................41%

Moral: Help those in need without expecting anything in return.
Movie: Pay It Forward..............................22%

Moral: Life is short. Stop and smell the roses.
Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off..............................8%

Moral: Learn from your mistakes.
Movie: Groundhog Day..............................8%

Moral: Having money does not make you a good person.
Movie: Trading Places..............................8%

Moral: You don’t have to prove anything to anyone but yourself.
Movie: Rudy..............................6%

Moral: Give people a chance. Don’t judge based on first impressions.
Movie: Breakfast Club..............................6%

Moral: It’s important to enjoy the work you do.
Movie: Office Space..............................2%

“It’s A Wonderful Life, with its focus on being grateful, clearly resonates with a broad segment of Americans. This question offers quiz takers a fun way to gain insight into what they think is important in life and helps define their Keep Good Going Style. Which one would you choose?’ added New York Life’s Liz McCarthy.

Committed to helping people perpetuate the good in their lives, New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four of the major credit rating agencies.** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. Please visit New York Life’s website at for more information.

* Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, May 20, 2013. See for methodology.
**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/1/13.

Survey Methodology

The Keep Good Going Report survey was sponsored by New York Life and conducted online by Greenwald & Associates in August 2012 among 2,069 individuals age 21 or older.

The four Keep Good Going Style segments were determined by statistically analyzing patterns in survey participants’ responses. The quiz reflects the questions that had the greatest influence on participants’ segment assignment. Specific techniques included discriminant analysis and cluster analysis.