To the surprise of absolutely no one the British public have no fucking clue what the country is really like

IPSOS-MORI Year in Review

IPSOS-MORI Year in Review

The whole slideshow from IPSOS-MORI’s year in review is instructive, have a look. Long story short, the public systematically think things are worse than they are.

The reassuring takeaway is that if you think the public hold odious views its only because they have no idea what they’re talking about. This brings to mind the aphorism that people should get what they vote for, good and hard.

Pessimistically, the public are massively biased against benefits claimants, single mothers, immigrants and engage in “emotional innumeracy” and motivated reasoning to make themselves feel reasonable about their dickishness.

That this means the public would think they were being dicks if they knew the truth. However, campaigning on the “you’re really a dickhead, mate” platform is a one way ticket to lostdepositville.

Dissolving the people and educating another is also a terrible policy because it’s not going to work. Bad news sells and fact checking is a pretty loveless hobby.

All in all, this is pretty terrible news anyway you cut it, although it does make me like the public a little more and wonder at the human mind. Faced with dickhead beliefs your brain totally warps reality so that you become reasonable. It explains a lot actually.

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5 thoughts on “To the surprise of absolutely no one the British public have no fucking clue what the country is really like

  1. I posted this link in comment Tim W’s blog.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ksh8m

    “To what degree do our personal opinions cloud our judgement? Yale University researchers have attempted to detect and measure how our political beliefs affect our ability to make rational decisions. The study suggests that our ability to do maths plummets when we’re looking at data which clashes with our worldview. Ruth Alexander and Ben Carter consider Professor Dan Kahan’s findings. ”

    Rather depressing really.

  2. Pessimistically, the public are massively biased against benefits claimants, single mothers, immigrants and engage in “emotional innumeracy” and motivated reasoning to make themselves feel reasonable about their dickishness.

    Yes, I think that’s probably true. (Even if the emphasis on such issues in the popular press probably exacerbates such trends.) Lest one think that this is only the case for conservative voters, though, I suspect that Britons would also exaggerate the extent to which austerity has led to public service cuts.

    Also, the idea that 59% of Britons are Christian in any meaningful sense is absurd. I would place the number lower than the public.

    1. I think the press exacerbates it because it pays toe exacerbate it because the public want that reinforcement. Confirmation bias is tasty, tasty yummy. Britons have no idea about budget cuts, in fact loads of people think councils have got better if you look at the IPSOS MORI chart. (I think this might be because you can do more online now so the annoying general interactions are gone, even while certain acute services have vanished if you follow).

      I thought 60% in broad, bland terms was about right, but if you think a third of the country’s Muslim you have to give a similar figure for Christians at least. Comforting that the public are capable of some simple arithmetic.

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