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This Survey Shows Just How Uninformed We Are About the World

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Misconceptions are like shoes. They come in every size, shape, color and design. Some common misconceptions for U.S. residents were exposed in a recent Ipos MORI survey.

According to Mic, the Perils of Perception 2015 report revealed many false impressions after surveying 33 countries around the world, including the U.S., Chile, Russia, France and Great Britain. Conducted by Ipsos MORI Public Affairs Managing Director Bobby Duffy and Research Manager James Stannard, the survey's intention was to “continue to build our knowledge in this area and to encourage debate with policy makers, academics and the public on key social realities and public misconceptions," according to the Perils of Perception website.

In the U.S., two of the biggest misconceptions were on the topics of immigration and religion. While American participants believed that immigrants made up 33 percent of the U.S. population, in reality immigrants only accounted for 14 percent. As for religion, Americans thought that 40 percent of their overall population identified as nonreligious (includes “atheists, agnostics, and those who say they do not identify with any religion”). However, they weren’t even in the ballpark as only 16 percent identify themselves that way.

The report covered a range of other topics from health to female representation in politics, and per the survey’s motto, “Perception is not reality," the analysis showcases just how wrong some of us can be. But with every new day comes a new lesson, so hopefully the gap between what we believe and what is true will grow smaller and smaller each year.


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