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TMCNet:  New Survey Reveals Top Trends in How Americans' Definition of Personal Responsibility Shape Goals for the New Year

[January 03, 2013]

New Survey Reveals Top Trends in How Americans' Definition of Personal Responsibility Shape Goals for the New Year

BOSTON --(Business Wire)--

Are Americans who make New Year's Resolutions more responsible than those who do not The Responsibility Index, a new national survey released today by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Harris Interactive (News - Alert), finds that adults planning to make a New Year's resolution in 2013 say they personally behave more responsibly now than they did five years ago compared to those who are not planning on making a 2013 resolution.

As Americans look toward the New Year, the online survey of more than 1,700 adults reveals top trends for resolutions, including who plans to make a resolution in 2013 and how people's definition of responsibility may shape their goals for the New Year. The survey also gauges how Americans define personal responsibility and how their perception of it varies with age, marital status, gender and whether they have children.

Adults are more likely to define personal responsibility as "doing what's expected of you or what you're supposed to do" (46 percent) than "admitting to or owning mistakes" (31 percent) or "doing something especially hard or challenging" (23 percent).

These definitions help shed light on the trends for the top resolutions for 2013, which include:

  • Respondents identified fitness/exercise (43 percent), healthy eating (37 percent), family (26 percent), spirituality/faith (22 percent) and managing personal finances (22 percent) as their top resolutions around personal responsibility.
  • While fitness and exercise and healthy eating were at the top of nearly all resolution lists, respondents differed on their third top resolution, with married adults choosing family and divorced/widowed adults choosing career or managing personal finance. Single adults also selected career among their top-three resolutions.
  • Parents are more likely than non-parents to make a resolution (46 percent vs. 33 percent), with moms being more likely than dads to make a resolution (50 percent vs. 41 percent).
  • Younger adults (aged 18-34) are more likely than their older counterparts (aged 50-64) to make a resolution (58 percent vs. 22 percent).
  • Single adults are more likely than married adults to make a resolution (47 percent vs. 30 percent).

The survey also found what Americans think their communities should do to become more responsible in the New Year, including volunteering (28 percent), living an environmentally friendly lifestyle (26 percent) and driving more safely (26 percent).

"Being responsible translates into taking care of everyday responsibilities like your health, family and career, which is why we see these factors as top New Year's resolutions for 2013," said psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor.

With the upcoming New Year, this survey offers timely insights into adults' perception of responsibility and resolutions. More information about the survey can be found at, a website created by Liberty Mutual to provide compelling content as a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to "do the right thing."

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Liberty Mutual Insurance between September 24 and October 2, 2012, among 1,770 U.S. residents aged 18-64. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available upon request.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients-stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

About The Responsibility Project

The Responsibility Project (, created by Liberty Mutual in 2008, uses entertaining content to create a forum for people to discuss personal acts of responsibility. Through short films and online content, The Responsibility Project is a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to "do the right thing."

About Liberty Mutual Insurance

"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2011 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners.

Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2011 revenue. As of December 31, 2011, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $117.1 billion in consolidated assets, $99.3 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $34.7 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, property, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, reinsurance and surety. Liberty Mutual Insurance ( employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

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