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Author Topic: Perception Gap Study  (Read 387 times)

jhkim

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Perception Gap Study
« on: July 21, 2020, 08:41:53 pm »
I thought it would be interesting to discuss last year's study of the political perception gap, by the "More In Common" institute.

https://perceptiongap.us/

The key finding they have is that among both Democrats and Republicans, extremists are less able to predict the poll numbers of the opposing side. That is, extremists Democrats cannot accurately predict how average Republicans will respond to polls, and likewise extremist Republicans cannot accurately predict how average Democrats will respond to the polls. However, politically disengaged people are the most accurate among the groups. To me, this is a key point. As the study overview puts it:


Quote
Overall, Democrats and Republicans imagine almost twice as many of their political opponents as reality hold views they consider "extreme". Even on the most controversial issues in our national debates, Americans are less divided than most of us think. This is good news for those worried about the character of this country. The majority of Americans hold views that may not be so different from your own.

Quote
In one of the largest national studies of America's polarization ever conducted, More in Common's Hidden Tribes report identified seven political "tribes":

Progressive Activists / Traditional Liberals / Passive Liberals / Politically Disengaged / Traditional Conservatives / Devoted Conservatives

The Perception Gap study builds on these insights. It finds that the most partisan, politically active Americans – a group we call the "Wings" – have deeply distorted perceptions of the other side. The two groups with the widest Perception Gaps are the Progressive Activists and the Devoted Conservatives--the most ideological and committed groups of Democrats and Republicans.

And which is the most accurate segment? Surprisingly, it's the Politically Disengaged. They are fully three times more accurate in their estimates of political opponents than members of either of these Wing groups. The V-shaped Perception Gap shows that the less invested you are in politics today, the less distorted your perception of politics.


I'd be curious what people think of this, as far as their political opposition.

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2020, 08:12:00 am »
It is interesting. But these sorts of studies have also consistently shown that Liberals are MUCH WORSE in general at predicting Conservative's actual beliefs than the other way around. The perception gap is not equal.
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Shrieking Banshee

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2020, 05:28:48 pm »
It comes with a test! Even though its a percentage slider, I wanna see my results. Sounds like fun.

This is really interesting: My Democrat perception gap was 21%. My republican perception gap was -12%.
The big skew is that many more republicans assume Trump is not a flawed person then I guessed.

Man I wish everybody took this test. Its very heartening in a way. In other ways its not.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 05:37:13 pm by Shrieking Banshee »

jhkim

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 05:53:37 pm »
Quote from: RPGPundit;1141182
It is interesting. But these sorts of studies have also consistently shown that Liberals are MUCH WORSE in general at predicting Conservative's actual beliefs than the other way around. The perception gap is not equal.


In the study I linked, the group of "traditional liberals" has a slightly larger gap than "traditional conservatives", but not a much larger gap. I'm sure that this can vary a lot depending on what sort of questions are asked, though - so I could easily picture a larger difference with different questions. However, the much more significant difference is how much better the "politically disengaged" are than either extreme. Also, the sources of media consumption had a strong effect, and increased education tended to *increase* misunderstanding for Democrats.

I'll link another study for comparison. It shows similar - close to equal gaps for Democrats and Republicans.

(MIS)PERCEPTIONS OF PARTISAN POLARIZATION IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC

The general conclusion of this is similar - the perceived difference is larger than the actual difference for both sides.

Ratman_tf

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2020, 06:04:06 pm »
Quote from: jhkim;1141103
I'd be curious what people think of this, as far as their political opposition.

The politically disengaged, by definition, are less inclined to be out there doing anything politically. So it really doesn't matter how accurate their perceptions are, as a matter of politics.
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Shrieking Banshee

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 06:09:17 pm »
Do the test. Its fun.

Ratman_tf

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 06:11:37 pm »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1141287
It comes with a test! Even though its a percentage slider, I wanna see my results. Sounds like fun.

This is really interesting: My Democrat perception gap was 21%. My republican perception gap was -12%.
The big skew is that many more republicans assume Trump is not a flawed person then I guessed.

Man I wish everybody took this test. Its very heartening in a way. In other ways its not.

Oh fun!

I got 9% Democrat, and -31% Republican.

I have to wonder how people interpreted the questions. I often find myself thinking what they mean by the question and what the question is literally asking.
"Trump is a flawed person" can be interpreted all the way from "Has a mole on his bum" to "Just like Hitler".
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 06:25:14 pm by Ratman_tf »
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GeekyBugle

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 06:23:53 pm »
Quote from: jhkim;1141288
In the study I linked, the group of "traditional liberals" has a slightly larger gap than "traditional conservatives", but not a much larger gap. I'm sure that this can vary a lot depending on what sort of questions are asked, though - so I could easily picture a larger difference with different questions. However, the much more significant difference is how much better the "politically disengaged" are than either extreme. Also, the sources of media consumption had a strong effect, and increased education tended to *increase* misunderstanding for Democrats.

I'll link another study for comparison. It shows similar - close to equal gaps for Democrats and Republicans.

(MIS)PERCEPTIONS OF PARTISAN POLARIZATION IN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC

The general conclusion of this is similar - the perceived difference is larger than the actual difference for both sides.

Not sure if this is true but, seems to me the perception gap study reveals a bias by the authors: Why is it that "Traditional Liberals" aren't part of a wing and "Traditional Conservatives" are? Where are the "Passive Conservatives"?

How did they determine who was a "Passive Liberal" and how come there's exactly zero "Passive Conservatives" among their sample?

Wouldn't what they call "Moderates" be the mysteriously missing "Passive Conservatives"?

What I find more interesting is how well one side can predict the other, and this study finds that Conservatives and Moderates are best at predicting Liberals than Liberals predicting Conservatives. Which means Conservatives and Moderates UNDERSTAND Liberals but Liberals don't understand Conservatives.

https://reason.com/2012/04/10/born-this-way/
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjC7-w5KDKNiD-k0tVo1DPw?view_as=subscriber

Shrieking Banshee

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 06:37:42 pm »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1141300
https://reason.com/2012/04/10/born-this-way/

To be fair that's using a libertarian-ish source as well. Its also biased as well.

Steven Mitchell

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2020, 06:50:48 pm »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1141303
To be fair that's using a libertarian-ish source as well. Its also biased as well.

These kind of question sets usually are.  It would be extraordinarily difficult to produce one that wasn't.

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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 07:03:29 pm »
Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1141307
These kind of question sets usually are.  It would be extraordinarily difficult to produce one that wasn't.

Agreed. However the reason one takes from a book that looks really fascinating. I wanna study up more on the principles of morality.

GeekyBugle

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 07:07:36 pm »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1141310
Agreed. However the reason one takes from a book that looks really fascinating. I wanna study up more on the principles of morality.

How about the 5 moral principles and how each tribe sees them?

https://fbaum.unc.edu/teaching/articles/JPSP-2009-Moral-Foundations.pdf
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GeekyBugle

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Perception Gap Study
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 07:10:25 pm »
Quote from: Shrieking Banshee;1141303
To be fair that's using a libertarian-ish source as well. Its also biased as well.


Not in favor of Liberals or Conservatives tho. Libertarians (except the AnCaps) are the true centrists socially liberal but free market economically
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jhkim

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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 07:21:59 pm »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1141300
Not sure if this is true but, seems to me the perception gap study reveals a bias by the authors: Why is it that "Traditional Liberals" aren't part of a wing and "Traditional Conservatives" are? Where are the "Passive Conservatives"?

What they say is that those categories were found by cluster analysis of the data, and then given appropriate names, rather than pre-defining the spectrum. From my experience of cluster analysis, I'd take the break points between the groups with a big grain of salt, and the labels are semi-arbitrary and may well reflect biases. However, it is at least a consistent and explained methodology. However, the link to the cluster analysis report is broken - here's the correct link:

https://hiddentribes.us/


Quote from: GeekyBugle;1141300
What I find more interesting is how well one side can predict the other, and this study finds that Conservatives and Moderates are best at predicting Liberals than Liberals predicting Conservatives. Which means Conservatives and Moderates UNDERSTAND Liberals but Liberals don't understand Conservatives.

https://reason.com/2012/04/10/born-this-way/

Interesting, but I think that's overstating the point. Looking up the author's paper, the study uses a different set of questions -- about broad moral values -- but the results are similar in some ways. Since they're all asking different questions, I don't think these studies contradict each other. In the study your link refers to, their groupings of "slightly liberal", "slightly conservative" and "strongly conservative" are all equally subject to exaggeration (within error of each other). Though the strongly liberal are even further off. Here's Figure 3 from the author's paper, showing degree of exaggeration for the groupings.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]4701[/ATTACH]

Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0050092

It's more lopsided than the "More In Common" study and the other study I linked, but it's still true that the extremes are less accurate, and moderates are the most accurate.

Shrieking Banshee

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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 07:37:52 pm »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1141311
How about the 5 moral principles and how each tribe sees them?

https://fbaum.unc.edu/teaching/articles/JPSP-2009-Moral-Foundations.pdf

I think I did that once and rated like a near 95% in all of them. Fairness was the lowest at like 60%.

Quote from: jhkim;1141315
It's more lopsided than the "More In Common" study and the other study I linked, but it's still true that the extremes are less accurate, and moderates are the most accurate.

It's still somewhat frustrating somebody else gets to decide what moderate is. Conservative talking points have been about the same for 50+ years. While liberal talking points keep changing and asking for more. So I find it a bit disingenuous that in this case, liberals get to decide what a moderate is.