Saturday, 24 January 2009

In Which I Continue To Not Understand People

This list of Americans' top priorities for 2009 is pretty depressing. Partially because I'm unsure about the methodology: it's all very well telling us you used a random stratified phone sample, but we should really know exactly what was asked. The numbers below make it very clear that participants were allowed to offer more than one "top priority", but I can't find it mentioned anywhere whether there was a specific number asked for. Is global warming really a top priority if everyone who mentioned it did so at the end of a list of seven other things?

Speaking of global warming, Kevin Drum laments the fact that global warming comes last in the list. Obviously, I agree that this is concerning, although probably not surprising. What got me, though, was that 30% listed global warming as a "top priority" compared to 45% who listed "moral decline".

This is the sort of stuff I simply don't get. For every two Americans seriously concerned about global warming, three of them are worried about moral decline? Crime was mentioned by 46% of respondents. That means that at best, only 2% of people worried about crime enough to have mentioned aren't also worried about moral decline to a similar extent. I say "at best" because the alternative is that there are people in the States who mentioned moral decline without mentioning actual lawbreaking.


Gooder said...

The whole moral decline/crime thing depends on how the question was asked/ the options given.

I can say how people could say they worry about moral decline and be thinking about crime- I suspect there is overlapped between those two.

The rest of is pretty unsurprising as people being people tend to worry about themselves and family first, global issues second. It's jsut the way people think.

Gooder said...

Oh, get a load oy my terrible typing and grammer in the above. *sigh*