Pew Research: What the Public Knows - In Pictures, Maps, Graphs and Symbols
News and Political Knowledge Quiz
Before you read the report, test your own News IQ by taking the interactive knowledge quiz. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they did on the quiz in comparison with the general public as well as with people like them.
The latest update of the Pew Research Center’s regular News IQ quiz uses a set of 13 pictures, maps, graphs and symbols to test knowledge of current affairs. (To take the quiz yourself before reading this report, click here.) At the high end, nearly nine-in-ten Americans (87%) are able to select the Star of David as the symbol of Judaism from a group of pictures of religious symbols. And when shown a picture of Twitter’s corporate logo, 79% correctly associate the logo with that company.
At the low end, just 43% are able to identify a picture of Elizabeth Warren’s from a group of four photographs of female politicians, among them Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Baldwin and Deb Fischer. And when presented with a map of the Middle East in which Syria is highlighted, only half are able to identify the nation correctly.
Overall, majorities correctly answer 11 of 13 questions in the new quiz, which was conducted online January 18-24, 2013, among a random sample of 1,041 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The quiz includes several items about leading political figures. When shown a picture of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 73% identified Christie from a list that included Newt Gingrich, Scott Walker and Rush Limbaugh. An identical percentage identified John Boehner in a question with a similar format. To see how each question was presented, see the attached survey topline.
Seven of the 13 items were answered correctly by two-thirds or more of the survey’s respondents. These included identifying the Star of David as the symbol for Judaism (87%), the corporate logo for Twitter (79%), the map of states won in 2012 by President Obama (75%), the photos of Christie and Boehner (73% each), a graph of the unemployment rate (70%) and the symbol for the Euro (69%).
About six-in-ten (62%) could identify the new secretary of state, John Kerry, from a photo lineup of four people. When shown a list of four state maps, and asked which of the states had approved the legalization of same-sex marriage last year, 60% correctly chose the state of Washington. But just 50% were able to identify Syria as country highlighted on a map of the Middle East.
On average, quiz takers correctly answered 8.5 of the 13 questions, a score of 65% correct when graded like a classroom test.
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