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Subject: British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows rss

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Adrian Hague
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-publi...

I blame the tabloids.... shake
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Josh
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Millions spent yearly to misinform the public means the public is misinformed!
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Do they still have the Page 3 girls? I bet they would score well about bare breasts.
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Adrian Hague
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Shadrach wrote:
Millions spent yearly to misinform the public means the public is misinformed!
Sad, but true. Sensationalism trumps facts every time.

I weep for my country cry
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Josh
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AdrianPHague wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Millions spent yearly to misinform the public means the public is misinformed!
Sad, but true. Sensationalism trumps facts every time.

I weep for my country cry


At least you aren't alone, there's a little place called 'the rest of the world' that is right along with you. The only disgrace is that people have learned to abuse the information age much better than they have learned to use it.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Yep, this is about right. People read the gutter press and think that it (and the blog sphere) are true. It's depressing that the Brits public are so foolish, but then what do you expect when you have opinion presented as fact (and so often regurgitated here on RSP by Conartists trying to prove that we in the UK are overrun by whatever it is they are banging on about this week).
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It's difficult to imagine how anyone could think nearly a third of any country (of reasonable size) could be recent immigrants except in extreme situations. Simply logistically.
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Niko
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Actually I think I am wrong about nearly everything.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
It's difficult to imagine how anyone could think nearly a third of any country (of reasonable size) could be recent immigrants. Simply logistically.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330734/White-Briton... All they do is misread the headline, or catch a glimpse of it in the shop and tell everyone they know they read about it in the paper. Especially if combined with this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9792392/W....
 
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Adrian Hague
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Niko wrote:
Actually I think I am wrong about nearly everything.
You sir, are a wise man! thumbsup
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Steve Armitstead
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AdrianPHague wrote:


I am not at all surprised: it explains completely the poor level of government we have had for so long soblue

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Boaty McBoatface
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Kevin C wrote:
We get the information we want. As a result, we get the information we deserve.
I disagree, we get the information we are given. No one wants incorrect facts, the problem is that the press very rarely allows it's elf to be scrutinized (and is in fact fighting tooth and claw to prevent any kind of meaningful oversight).
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Adrian Hague
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Not to mention 'informed' comments on the above article like this one:

"Great Britains identity change many years ago when it opened its doors.The increase will create more law breaking, homeless, poverty,disease, indifference and racial unrest..."
[sic]

Kevin C wrote:
No. There's substantial sociological evidence that people seek out information sources which do not challenge their worldviews.

But how are those views formed in the first place?
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Boaty McBoatface
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Kevin C wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I disagree, we get the information we are given. No one wants incorrect facts, the problem is that the press very rarely allows it's elf to be scrutinized (and is in fact fighting tooth and claw to prevent any kind of meaningful oversight).


No. There's substantial sociological evidence that people seek out information sources which do not challenge their worldviews. Commercial media and blogs are therefore incentivised to provide such information. The successful sources don't provide information, they retell the worldviews of their target audiences using current events as narrative elements.

If you read the Daily Mail for a year (a friend of mine did this and categorised the main stories), you'll quickly find that they just tell the same small number of stories over and over.
You have (a partial) point. Yes people seek out those sources (and ignore those that do not) reenforce their world view. However this is about informing opinions they do not yet have. No one thought this country was overrun with immigrants until someone put it in their head.
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Steve Armitstead
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Kevin C wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I disagree, we get the information we are given. No one wants incorrect facts, the problem is that the press very rarely allows it's elf to be scrutinized (and is in fact fighting tooth and claw to prevent any kind of meaningful oversight).


No. There's substantial sociological evidence that people seek out information sources which do not challenge their worldviews. Commercial media and blogs are therefore incentivised to provide such information. The successful sources don't provide information, they retell the worldviews of their target audiences using current events as narrative elements.

If you read the Daily Mail for a year (a friend of mine did this and categorised the main stories), you'll quickly find that they just tell the same small number of stories over and over.


I agree with this, however, I have experienced negative effects against my political beliefs by the constant drip, drip of media indoctrination. When everyone around you is spewing mis-information about your party over such a long period, it's hard to discount it. Admittedly, I was naive about the amount of stark lies, libel and opinion stated as fact that much of the media were getting away with. I think many people were also naive and many still are, although the more recent revelations about the practices of the press are making many wiser.



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Niko wrote:
Actually I think I am wrong about nearly everything.

I bet I'm wrong about more than you're wrong about.
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D S
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Tabloids play a part: as do politicians and others. But so do issues with the survey I think. The link on the Royal Statistical Society website is fascinating, incidentally. Below is my comment on that site (still awaiting moderation!)

http://www.rssenews.org.uk/2013/07/rss-commission-new-resear...

I find this sort of survey incredibly interesting and potentially very helpful to public debate. However (and it’s a big however), I think they might sometimes reveal more about surveys and the use of stats than beliefs.

The way the survey is written and the results presented matters. Most of the wrong answers are over-estimates, but the correct answers are mostly below 30% and the options evenly-spaced between 0 and 100%. So random answers will drag the results up rather than down: and looking at the stats, you can see that the median is often more accurate than the mean. Using the median also stops a result of ‘some people joke, misunderstand or are totally confused and thus think over 90% of the population is black or asian’ giving an impression on ‘typical’ beliefs.

In the case of pregant teenagers, the lower option available was 1%, and the actual answer 0.6%. In this situation, the average being correct was literally impossible: and more generally, people assume the answer is around the middle.

People filling in surveys try to guess what the survey is getting at: and if the Word attachment represents the survey filled in, then they’re right to do so, as it itself makes assumptions: a literal reading of the teenage pregnancy question should give an answer around 0.15% because it says ‘under 16s’ but the footnote shows that the measurement is actually 13-15 year olds, and pregnancies below that will be very, very few. I still don’t know what the single parent stat means: I’d guess it’s ‘single parents of under 18 year olds as a proportion of the whole population’, but the natural way people think is as a proportion of parents. I doubt that (as the survey would suggest) around a quarter of people think that literally 3 in 10 people are single parents bringing up under-18s: that barely leaves room for the under-18s and the estanged other halves (though I suppose they could have kids too). You’d get more interesting data if you tried to get people to divide the whole population into various categories (singe parents, married parents, cohabiting parents, bringing up with a new partner who isn’t the kid’s parent) rather than guessing a number for one group.

On a separate point: if you want to raise awareness on stats, it’s probably best to use facts that are clear and non-disputed. So the ones on number of immigrants or amount of violent crime don’t really help, as people often openly deny the official stats. Whereas foreign aid is an excellent example of a misunderstood stat, as it’s much harder to plausibly argue that the government is secretly sending aid to countries!

It also helps if you’re not seen as factional. ost of the examples above are essentially people thinking that immigrants/benefits claimants/foreign aid/crime are problems, which is (very broadly) a ‘right wing’ position. Finding cases where common beliefs are more biased on the ‘progressive’ side might make this more effective both at raising awareness amongst progressive people (‘wow, I get things wrong too’) and making it feel like less of a stick to beat certain sorts of people with.
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Steve Armitstead
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jmilum wrote:
Do they still have the Page 3 girls? I bet they would score well about bare breasts.


Vital statistics, bare facts, sex, lies and videotape.

 
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R. Frazier
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With this much popular support for wrong information, I can only assume a Slater as Prime Minister is inevitable.
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Adrian Hague
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Fascinating lecture on US/ UK media and politics (totally relevant to this thread).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b036rg3p/Lecture_What_O...

(BBC IPlayer UK/ proxy only)
 
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Adrian Hague
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Euroncrowseye wrote:
AdrianPHague wrote:
Shadrach wrote:
Millions spent yearly to misinform the public means the public is misinformed!
Sad, but true. Sensationalism trumps facts every time.

I weep for my country cry


In all fairness, it depends on how the question is phrased and where it's asked. People extrapolate from experience.


True, but then one has to ask what these experiences are, and what is their source?

Most of us cannot 'experience' politics directly (short of spending all day in the visitors gallery at the Palace of Westminster). For the majority, their experience of politics is filtered through the media, which has it's own political agenda (yes, Mr Murdock, I'm looking at you).
 
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The answers to the questions would be almost entirely guesswork with barely a few seconds thought. Strictly speaking, it means that they are uniformed. But it does not mean that given few minutes and a glance at google the answers would not be much, much better.

So it's a bit silly to read to much into these results.
 
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Adrian Hague
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Venga2 wrote:
The answers to the questions would be almost entirely guesswork with barely a few seconds thought. Strictly speaking, it means that they are uniformed. But it does not mean that given few minutes and a glance at google the answers would not be much, much better.

So it's a bit silly to read to much into these results.

It's not silly at all. People make voting decisions based on what they think they 'know'.

It's not that they are uninformed, (otherwise they would answer 'don't know'), they are misinformed, which is even worse.

The electorate are supposed to make an informed decision about who to vote for. But with the current slew of opinion-based journalism (opinions are cheap, as opposed to reasoned thought, which takes time and money), this is nigh-impossible.

Keyword for information sources: Veracity
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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rylfrazier wrote:
With this much popular support for wrong information, I can only assume a Slater as Prime Minister is inevitable.
We don't live in America.
 
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Niko
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Willward wrote:
Niko wrote:
Actually I think I am wrong about nearly everything.

I bet I'm wrong about more than you're wrong about.


You're probably right.
 
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