Americans Are Dumber Than a Bag of Rocks – Opinion

YouGov is an international data and research organization based in London. It conducted a survey among Americans to determine if they are smarter than Joe Biden or a bag full of rocks.

Observation is the best way to perceive. With most people, if they “see” it, they believe it. However, perception does not reflect reality. Modern Americans “see” something on TV or the internet, and believe that whatever “that” might be is a reflection of reality, because they generally spend too much time in front of a screen.

Reality and perception rarely coincide.

Consider TV commercials. If aliens tapped into TV feeds, they’d be left with the perception that the majority, or a significant minority, of couples are interracial. They aren’t. The current amount is about 10 percent, but adverts selling products from cars to deodorant would leave you with a perception that maybe 60 percent of couples are interracial.

The shift in color in ads has been from predominantly white actors to mostly black since 2019. Businesses were alerted to the excessive representation of whites on commercials and responded by offering a huge overpayment. Black people make up 13 percent of America’s population. However, television ads feature far more Black actors in commercials than any other demographic. Is this the American Black population? Forty-one percent.

Some reading this will cry “white fragility!” “Racist!.” But the perception of Blacks of their demographic size blows that up. Blacks believed their population was 52%. Perhaps they are more interested in TV ads. Nope. The majority of Americans are too addicted to TV.

The following is an extract from the study

…[n]On-Black Americans believe that the percentage is around 39%. This figure is closer to the actual number of 12%. The 40% figure is based on first-generation immigrants, according to our survey. However, non-immigrants believe it might be closer at 31%. This would make the total number of immigrants in America close to 14%.

I don’t watch TV for much beyond research and sports – but my wife watches for entertainment. I’ve noticed a couple of things, when my wife wants me to ‘join’ her. Statistics don’t tell us that there are more gay characters on television and movies than we think, nor do they support the existence of more Muslims. It is difficult to determine if the characters in movies and TV shows are gay. The plotlines require, in fact, that viewers are told.

How about Muslims? Headscarves. Well, that’s bigoted – lots of women wear scarves. Nope. I’ve asked my wife. “Is that character Muslim”? It is: The answer is always yes. Reality is quite differentThe US has a Muslim population of less than 1%. Americans believe or consider the following percentages. Twenty-seven percent.

My wife and I were watching Monday’s show. It was a crime drama, and a character was transgender – I think. I don’t know what the person was, but they were dressed like a drag queen

But I’m not a biologist. I didn’t have to ask, because shows make it abundantly clear. How high do Americans believe the number of transgender people? In reality, it’s well under one percent. Americans put the figure at 21 percent.

Although these numbers seem large enough to be problematic, there are still plenty of people who are just as bad. What is it about Americans that makes them so poor at changing their perceptions? The survey is wrong. According to the survey, 77% of Americans have read at least one book within the last year. According to the survey, this number stands at 50 percent. I think it’s lower, because I have a preconception that most people are not terribly well-informed or curious.

This is what the author attempts to explain

When a person’s lived experience suggests an extreme value — such as a small proportion of people who are Jewish or a large proportion of people who are Christian — they often assume, reasonably, that their experiences are biased. In response, they adjust their prior estimate of a group’s size accordingly by shifting it closer to what they perceive to be the mean group size (that is, 50%). This can facilitate misestimation (sic) in surveys, such as ours, which don’t require people to make tradeoffs by constraining the sum of group proportions within a certain category to 100%.

In common-speak, most people aren’t bright, and they will take wild stabs at reality based on perception, rounding the mean.

We are not a smart people, unfortunately — and apparently, our president matches that label. Reality is what you see in this instance.

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