The Consequences of Political Innumeracy
29 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 29 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
The prevalence of political innumeracy - or ignorance of politically relevant numbers - is well-documented. However, little is known about its consequences. We report on three original survey experiments in which respondents were randomly assigned to see correct information about the racial composition of the U.S. population, median income and educational attainment, and the unemployment and poverty rates. Although estimates of these quantities were frequently far from the truth, providing correct information had little effect on attitudes toward relevant public policies.
Keywords: political knowledge, innumeracy
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