April 19, 2010

Who knows what?

Inductivist highlights a Pew survey of how much people know about political news. Pew asked 1000 adults a dozen current affairs questions, and then published the demographic breakdowns. (You can take the online test here. The foreign debt questions turns out to have two more or less right answers.) The demographics aren't too surprising: Republicans average 5.9 right answers out of 12 versus 4.9 for Democrats. (Independents, however, do better than is typical on these surveys: 5.6.) People under 30 only got 3.8 right on average. Men defeated women 6.0 to 4.6. Whites did much better than blacks. Affluent people know a lot more than poor people. The well-educated are smarter.
They didn't ask if you played golf, but previous evidence suggests that the more somebody fits the stereotype of a boring middle aged Republican white male golfer, the more likely they are to know what the hell they are talking about.

47 comments:

Cordelia said...

I got 11 out of 12. Woo-hoo! (And I hate golf. Sorry, Steve.)

RandyB said...

12/12.

BTW, I'm not a typical HBDer type. I get most of my news from that pinko rag The Washington Post, to which my household has subscribed since I was born (that's three households: parents, bachelor and married).

I read HBD, WN type sites to fill in the blanks that the MSM leaves out. I'm just the type of semi-WN Carol Swain describes that probably wouldn't be here if the MSM was at least fair about covering diversity-type issues.

BTW, I wonder if anyone's going to poll what percent of black kids are born to unmarried parents (70) and how much women earn less than men for the same work (2-5%).

Anonymous said...

Sailer's law of female journalism surfaces in legal writing:

http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2010/04/bright-ideas-deborah-rhodes-the-beauty-bias.html#more-27573

SGOTI said...

11/12. But if you are an honest person, you have to miss at least one. I just couldn't stomach- and parrot- the statistical BS spouted by the various propaganda organs that unemployment is closer to 10% than 15%.

kritisk_borger said...

I got ten out of twelve, and I’m not even American. Nor do I live in America.

Anonymous said...

I took the online test and got 11/12. I missed the question on which country holds the most US debt (I said China).

Demographically, I'm just what you might expect.

Anonymous said...

Number one reason to never forgive the South for Jim Crow:

they've permanently tainted the idea of poll tests.

BamaGirl said...

I got 11/12 and I mostly just read USAToday and HuffingtonPost (very leftist but the comments are very entertaining). I don't see how the average score for women was only 4 something. Ridiculous..
I'd definitely be in favor of giving civics/history tests to voters judging by the poor scores on a fairly easy news quiz. Anyone who scored below a 7 really has no business voting.

Mitch said...

12/12, and I'm a chick, which is only a little better than being a high school graduate.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

11/12 but they updated the China/Japan question and made both of them correct. Of all things I got the oil one wrong which was really stupid of me.

Anonymous said...

12/12, but I had to take educated guesses on a couple of them. A few of the questions honestly aren't that important, like fatalities in Iraq vs Afghanistan, or who Stephen Colbert is.

FYI Anon, China holds 25% of US debt, but Japan is pretty close with 20%.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, Looks like I was wrong on the debt question:

On Question 3 — "which foreign country holds the most U.S. government debt?" — both China and Japan are now accepted as correct answers on our interactive quiz. China had been the major holder of U.S. government securities for more than a year, and was the correct answer according to then-available Treasury data when the quiz was administered in a nationally representative survey. But data released by the U.S. Treasury on Feb. 16, 2010 reveal that China sold a large block of its U.S. holdings in December so that Japan again became the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities.

Anonymous said...

Mitch said...
12/12, and I'm a chick



Yeah, but your name is Mitch! If you had a chick name you'd have probably got 6/12.

Anonymous said...

12 out of 12. Of course you'd expect the results to be a good deal higher than average among readers of political blogs.

It would be interesting to compare the readership of, say, The New Republic and National Review.

Anonymous said...

9 out of 12. I'm from Australia. 'Filibustering' question guessed correctly. I look like I would play golf.

Fred said...

12/12. I was iffy on the debt question, thinking it was either China or Japan (I went with China), but according to Pew, either answer would have been correct.

josh said...

I WOULDVE gotten 12/12 but i missed one maybe i shouldnt have:the higher casualty rate in Afghanistan vs Iraq for 2009. being aware of the attacks launched by the good guys in late 2009 and going into 2010 I figgered most of the higher casualties on our side to be in 2010,with those of late 2009 not surpassing the year in Iraq. Wrong. The Q re the number of women on the Court,that Q would be a bit more tricky if Souter were still there...

MQ said...

I got 11 out of 12 right, but I'm extremely well informed. I was surprised by how a hard test it was -- there were a couple of questions on there that you'd have to be something of a news junkie/policy wonk to get.

Anonymous said...

I got seven out of twelve, and like Kritisk Borger I’m not even American. Nor do I live in America. Nor do I play golf.

JoJo said...

11/12. Got the oil question wrong because I thought that we import less than 50% of the total. I am a relatively poor legal immigrant. White, male, despise both parties and can't stand golf.

Christopher Paul said...

12 of 12. Japan surpassed China as our biggest debt holder very recently.

That was by far the trickiest question.

Anonymous said...

11/12, and it was only because I don't watch much news and felt sure that the cancer had gotten Ginsberg by now.

Kylie said...

My score 11 out of 12, I missed the question about whether the 2009 causualty rate was higher in Afghanistan or Iraq. I'm abysmally bad at golf.

I'm a white, middle-aged housewife with a high school diploma living in a small town in the heartland.

Anonymous said...

I got 12/12 and I'm Australian. LOL.

Statistically that quiz analysis is a major fail. No interaction terms? No model checking? What about college educated Democrats versus college educated Republicans? Come on Steve.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

In the interest of revealing left-wing propoganda for educational purposes...

highly intelligent people [aka "atheistic liberals"] are simply playing a different mating strategy, and it’s one that doesn’t go well with being conservative or highly religious.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

12/12. I also look like I'd play golf, but I don't care for it.

DCThrowback said...

The interest in this just proves that if Steve really wants to monetarize his success, the iSteve at home IQ test would be the way to go.

Furthermore, a 64 team IQ test bracket challenge of commenters on this site would be FANTASTIC. Let's make this happen. Could you imagine Truth v. Whiskey in an opening round matchup? Imagine the bragging rights. Half-Sigma v. STDV? FASCINATING.

Richard Hoste said...

I took the online test and got 11/12. I missed the question on which country holds the most US debt (I said China).

So did I and it was right.

I thought they were trying to trick us with Canada in there.

Anonymous said...

11/12. I missed the oil question, thinking we produced about half of our oil. I'm 21, white, male, etc.

Anonymous said...

11/12. I got the Supreme Court question wrong because for the life of me I didn't remember that Sonia Sotomayor was a woman. I was thinking, "one black, one latino, and one woman." I forgot that Sotomayor had a gender. That's what political correctness does to your mind.

Contemplationist said...

lol I got 12/12 and I'm 23

Chief Seattle said...

10/12 because I had the same problem as anonymous remembering that Sonya Sotamayor was a woman. My bad. And Afghanistan vs. Iraq casualties - I just try to tune that whole thing out.

BTW, I'd appreciate it if anyone can post a link to the 10 question vocab/IQ test that Steve mentions occasionally. Or to other short tests that correlate with G.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

12 for 12. Suck it, Trebek.

The only one I even came close to missing was the Afghanistan/Iraq question.

Number one reason to never forgive the South for Jim Crow: they've permanently tainted the idea of poll tests.

It's the old saying: never throw the baby out with the bath water - and it isn't the South's fault.

FWIW, in my perfect world people would get voting points, the more points the more votes: one for being a veteran, one for being a combat veteran, one for passing a basic history/civics test (which of course means literacy, too), one for being a native-born citizen, one for each parent who is a native-born citizen, and one-two for having children under 18. Then minus two for being a tax-parasite or a conscientious objector. And none if you're a convicted felon.

Democracy is a noble idea, but "one man, one vote" is quite possibly the dumbest idea anyone ever came up with.

Yes, I know it will never happen, but a guy can dream, and I'm past the age of dreaming I'll ever sleep with Amanda Seyfried.

Of course you'd expect the results to be a good deal higher than average among readers of political blogs.

BS. Wanna wager that the a-holes over at DailyKos score lower than average?

Anonymous said...

that 10 question vocab test:

www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/WorkingPapers/WP29Sherr.pdf

pages 13-14

steve wood said...

11/12 for me, too. I missed the one on cloture (which I confused with overriding a veto - back to civics class for me!).

A few of the questions were hard and required educated guesswork or regular, close attention to daily news outlets, but many were pretty easy, even if all you do is scan the headlines that pop up when you open your internet browser. It's kind of appalling how low the average scores were.

No, I don't play golf, but, yes, I fit the golf demographic.

Svigor said...

SGOTI stole my comment.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

The results of the Pew survey are interesting in one respect: not only do Republicans do better than Dems (naturally), but so do independents. In the past I believe that most surveys have found that indies are generally the least well informed, behind both Dems and Reps. Indies also outnumber both Dems and Reps in the sample size.

Since this is a recent poll I wonder if it says something about the voters' shift away from the two parties, especially the Dems, and I wonder especially if it says something about educated voters shift away from the Dems.

During the Bush years it was said that educated voters were leaving the GOP. Based on the survey results it seems that the GOP has recovered fine, while the Dems are getting hit hard.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, all these 11/12 people!

I'm a bit embarrassed about my 7/12 now. Still outscored the average Democrat though.

Anonymous said...

@kritisk_borger

I got ten out of twelve, and I’m not even American. Nor do I live in America.

What does being American/living in America have to do with it in this day-and-age with the internet and all? If you read the news online, you read the news online.

Cordelia said...

That's .pdf for anyone looking for this paper. For some reason that got cut off in Anonymous's post:

www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/WorkingPapers/WP29Sherr.pdf

Thanks for the link, Anon!

John D said...

12/12

Capt Jack said: FWIW, in my perfect world people would get voting points, the more points the more votes: one for being a veteran, one for being a combat veteran, one for passing a basic history/civics test (which of course means literacy, too), one for being a native-born citizen, one for each parent who is a native-born citizen, and one-two for having children under 18. Then minus two for being a tax-parasite or a conscientious objector. And none if you're a convicted felon.

Democracy is a noble idea, but "one man, one vote" is quite possibly the dumbest idea anyone ever came up with.


This is pretty much exactly what I thought when I read the results.

What a disaster universal suffrage is. Morons voting for whoever promises the most free stuff.

Silver said...

10/12. Male. Australia. Avid golfer.

Healthcare senate and filibuster senate got me. (I picked 67 -- 2/3ish -- for the latter so had some idea.)

On the other hand, I bet only one reading this who knows the lyrics to Tha Crossroads. I were American, I guess that'd make me a "Hip-hop Rebublican."

Anonymous said...

Back to being Australian are we Silver, or just in Australia?

l said...

11/12. Missed the filibuster question.

I sent the quiz to all my 'progressive' friends think that if everyone was better educated they'd vote for Democrats -- and that the way to get enlightened gov't is to register more poor minorities.

Anonymous said...

11/12. Guessed right on Iraq/Afghan casaulties. Guessed wrong on bomber trained in Syria/Yemen. Knew the other ten cold. American, independent libertarian, non-golfer, viet vet, masters degree in math.

Howard Hughes said...

11/12 and I'm young potsmoking Swede. Living in Sweden...

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

@kritisk_borger

""I got ten out of twelve, and I’m not even American. Nor do I live in America.""

What does being American/living in America have to do with it in this day-and-age with the internet and all? If you read the news online, you read the news online."

Huh? It has a lot to do with it. Yes, presumably a swede, for example, gets a lot of his news from the internet - but probably primarily reads websites in swedish that are primarily about sweden, and only secondarily touch on american affairs, and only after that might read some english language sites (which themselves might not be american). Do you imagine that the only internet news outlets are american ones?

I'd wager that Kritisk Borger fares better on an exam about America than would the average american fare on an exam about Borger's country.