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Are You Smarter Than an American? Do you know more about the news than the average American?

The Pew Research Center released its "What the Public Knows" study Thursday, illustrating that pretty much everyone in America recognizes that one photo of Edward Snowden, and nobody knows what's going on with the Dow Jones Index. Pew asked a wide range of respondents 13 "news IQ" questions, to determine how well Americans know what's going on in the world. Majorities got 5 out of 13 right on the quiz, which asked about public policy, geography, tech innovations, and famous people. It seems like Pew tried to through a few more toughies in there this time — most people did a lot better on Pew's January quiz (majorities got 11 out of 13 questions right).

Pew asked about respondents' education levels, and unsurprisingly, those with a college degree were "more likely than those with a high school degree or less to answer every question correctly." Pew also notes that on past quizzes, younger people were less likely to know about current events. On this quiz, however, the results were more mixed. For example, people under the age of 30 more often correctly identified those states that have legalized gay marriage.

quiz at link

by Anonymousreply 5709/10/2013

I don't need no stinkin' test to answer that.

by Anonymousreply 109/05/2013

You scored better than 99% of the public and the same as 1%.

13/13 correct.

by Anonymousreply 209/05/2013

I'm an American... I was iffy on two of them (the woman in in the picture, and the percentage of women in congress), but I made educated guesses on those (process of elimination mostly) and got them right.

The others were all ridiculously easy.

13 out of 13 or top 1%


by Anonymousreply 309/05/2013

13 out of 13.

57 year old lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 409/05/2013

I got the Dow Jones wrong

by Anonymousreply 509/05/2013

The gay marriage question didn't have NY state highlighted.

by Anonymousreply 609/05/2013

I got the population pyramid wrong. I figured only an anal retentive country like Japan would have such a perfect pyramid.

by Anonymousreply 709/05/2013

13/13 as well. The one that potentially stumped me was the "Common Core" question.

by Anonymousreply 809/05/2013

It did, R6. NYS is the the large mass at the left of the northeast block.

by Anonymousreply 909/05/2013

12/13 here. I got the Dow Jones question wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1009/05/2013


I read about Google Glass somewhere on DL, otherwise I wouldn't have known what it was.

Only 71% of college graduates can find Egypt on a map? Surely that's wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1109/05/2013

10 out of 13.

by Anonymousreply 1209/05/2013

I got one wrong - didn't realize more women than men were graduating from college. I thought it was about equal.

by Anonymousreply 1309/05/2013

How did you guys know the pyramid question? That one seemed to be totally out of left field. I didn't have a clue.

by Anonymousreply 1409/05/2013

13/13 guessed on pyramid question

by Anonymousreply 1509/05/2013

R14. Japan has more old people, as do the other European countries. Only 3rd world countries have lots of kids under 18 and few old people.

by Anonymousreply 1609/05/2013

R14, I guessed AIDs vs. fecundity. The others certainly didn't fit.

I got the stock market graph wrong, since it's higher I thought the end should be up. I still don't know why it's wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1709/05/2013

Thanks, R16 - you're smart. That makes total sense and I'm kicking myself for not thinking it through.

by Anonymousreply 1809/05/2013

Key to the pyramid question was in considering which of the listed countries would have the lowest life expectancy.

by Anonymousreply 1909/05/2013

OK, I officially feel stupid for missing the pyramid.

by Anonymousreply 2009/05/2013

Me too, R20.

by Anonymousreply 2109/05/2013

You scored better than 96% of the public, below 1% and the same as 3%.

by Anonymousreply 2209/05/2013

Missed the Google Glass one, I thought it was a beer mug.

by Anonymousreply 2309/05/2013

I guess the pyramid was easy because I've been to countries where I was one of the oldest people around in my late 30s. Once you experience that, you notice life expectancy for various nations.

by Anonymousreply 2409/05/2013

12/13 Dow Jones got me.

by Anonymousreply 2509/05/2013

12 of 13. Damn you Dow Jones!

by Anonymousreply 2609/06/2013

I got 11 of 13 right. I misidentified the country on the map, and the country in the pyramid.

by Anonymousreply 2709/06/2013

Okay, the Google Glass one is surprising... it's been in the new SO FUCKING MUCH, I'm wondering how people can miss it.

The Dow Jones one... you just need to look for the one that crashes in 2008 (goes down), and then goes back up starting in 2009.

The population pyramid was also straight-forward... a country with no old people makes a pyramid like the one on the right, so both a process of elimination, and the knowledge of the effects of war and AIDS in Africa should give the right answer there.

by Anonymousreply 2809/06/2013

Er... "it's been in the NEWS so fucking much..."

Stupid keyboard.

by Anonymousreply 2909/06/2013

I didn't know who the woman in the picture was. I knew it had to be either the Yahoo exec or the TX legislator. I guessed wrong.

by Anonymousreply 3009/06/2013

96%. I didn't know Melissa Mayer either.

by Anonymousreply 3109/06/2013

12 of 13. I missed the % of women in congress because my first instinct was 20%, then I thought NAH, there's GOT to be more of them than that. I was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 3209/06/2013

Are we really this smart or is there a self-reporting bias?

by Anonymousreply 3309/06/2013

You scored better than 96% of the public, below 1% and the same as 3%.

I missed the one about "Common core"

by Anonymousreply 3409/06/2013

R33, probably a little of both.

by Anonymousreply 3509/06/2013

You scored better than 96% of the public, below 1% and the same as 3%.

by Anonymousreply 3609/06/2013

Missed one question

by Anonymousreply 3709/06/2013

Missed the woman pictured and the college graduates question.

by Anonymousreply 3809/06/2013

Missed 2: the Common Core, I selected muscles even though I thought "common" was a bit odd; and I guessed that equal numbers of men and women graduate college. Was that in the news? Because I never watch television news and barely pay attention to headlines on the internet.

I correctly guessed the Yahoo woman, the population pyramid was easy to guess--which country has the lowest life expectancy, for the Dow Jones, I just chose the graph that bottomed out in 2008, wild guess for Florida politician.

I did know that Arthur Kennedy was the swing vote because I just heard it on an old NPR podcast but that was also easy to figure out by process of elimination.

by Anonymousreply 3909/06/2013

I got 13 out of 13 correct, I had the Dow Jones question narrowed down to the top two graphs, and guessed, figuring the economic downturn started at the end of 2008 and guessed about the number of women in congress. I was pretty sure about the rest of the questions. 62 year old gay male with some college.

by Anonymousreply 4009/06/2013


by Anonymousreply 4109/06/2013

I only got 9/13, but I'm not American. I still scored better than 75 % of Americans though, lol.

by Anonymousreply 4209/06/2013

I missed the Dow Jones one.

I knew the one about female graduates. Colleges have been running into problem now for years because there are more women who're attending college and they're scoring higher on the entrance exams, standardized tests as well. In response colleges have had to let in men with lower scores to even things out. That's why I'm always amused by the fundies seeking to end affirmative action. They don't realize that many of them were the beneficiary of affirmative action.

by Anonymousreply 4309/06/2013


The DJI one threw me, and I knew Wendy Davis is blonde...but I chose the wrong (Yahoo!) blonde.

by Anonymousreply 4409/06/2013

Really, the CEO of Yahoo's headshot is news?

by Anonymousreply 4509/06/2013

R7, Japan has a lot of old people. Most first world countries do. The country was easy to guess based on the choices and the population ages. Only a third world country would have so few adults and elderly.

This test is no way to measure intelligence. It does measure specific knowledge and awareness. We already know most Americans aren't that aware and we certainly know they don't give a shit about current events or issues that impact their world and life. Which is very stupid on their part. Wait, maybe this does measure intelligence.

by Anonymousreply 4609/07/2013

Is there some reason I should know what Marissa Mayer looks like?

I missed the Dow Jones one too.

I didnt think it was so special that I got the Nigeria one, but after seeinv how few did, I kind of want a little prize now.

by Anonymousreply 4709/07/2013


Did not know who the blond woman was. I guessed wrong on Egypt and said Syria because it has been in the news lately. I thought women and men were equal in college graduation and thought there were more women in Congress.

Better than 75% of Americans .

by Anonymousreply 4809/07/2013

R46 I think the questionaire also leans towards business and economics knowledge.

I'm smart....but I'm also a news junkie and a stock market investor.

I do think most Americans are woefully uneducated about all history and everything about the rest of the world. I think Anerican education discourages critical thinking. I am not fun at parties.

by Anonymousreply 4909/07/2013

12/13. i missed the dow jones- not surprising, because i think reporting on the dow jones is akin to having a reporter cover the tables in vegas "the blackjack tables are on fire tonight, with winners everywhere, while those who played roulette are taking a serious beating".

by Anonymousreply 5009/07/2013

13/13. 27 year old grad student. Not born American but hold citizenship.

by Anonymousreply 5109/07/2013

I got 12 of 13. I missed the one about Marco Rubio. I thought he was a cabinet member for some reason, not a senator.

by Anonymousreply 5209/07/2013

11/13 91%. The DJIA seemed like a trick question to me, because you need to know what month in '08 the crash happened - did '08 start out low or crash later on? I forgot.

by Anonymousreply 5309/08/2013

Better than 85% of Americans.

Really weird, because I'm a Northern-European and don't follow American media. I didn't recognize senators/judges.

by Anonymousreply 5409/09/2013

13/13. Yahoo! lady was the only one I hesitated on.

by Anonymousreply 5509/09/2013

I'm British and I got 9/13.

It would be interesting to see how Americans managed a similar quiz with the domestic questions being European.

by Anonymousreply 5609/09/2013

Yahoo! was recently in the news because it changed its corporate logo for pretty much the first time in forever.

I still didn't know what she looked like, but used a combination of 'elimination' and 'guessing' to get it right.

by Anonymousreply 5709/10/2013
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