Report: Americans Use Of Basic Common Sense Hovering Near Zero
A study measuring simple reasoning and knowledge of current events has concluded that many Americans have “difficultly coming up with even one fact-based thought. Any lower and we’ll be flatlining,” said Owen Richards, head of statistical analysis at More On, a California think tank and one of the study's authors.
The report, titled ‘Reasoning In the Population’ (RIP), is meant to determine the countries intellectual ‘lowest common denominator’ and paints a grim picture of a growing segment of the nation.
The study of 2,717 subjects shows the correlation of the growing use of ego-driven social media, a hyper political climate and the need to fill a bloated 24/7 news and entertainment cycle as some of the factors responsible for the downward spiral.
“For Americans left to their own devices and the misinformation they get from them, it’s little wonder we’re seeing so many examples of political and social media inbreeding across the country,” Richards said.
“To get a baseline we pored over thousands of Facebook postings and Twitter feeds as well as stories in the New York Post, interviews at public urinals and Fox News. The findings were horrific. For example, the large following of YouTube egg videos and people unwrapping a box of merchandise is not an aberration.“
Richards also points to the popularity of Donald Trump as indicative of the decline in perception and reasoning. He cites the acceptance by Trump supporters of his string of near-truths, contradictions and outright lies as examples of the lack of basic analytical thought among millions of Americans.
“What we see happening is a worldview based on fiction posing as fact that seeps down and hardens into core beliefs. Across all segments of society people are believing what they want to if it fits into a narrative they’re comfortable with.”
“Unfortunately, that can result in an inability to consider any conflicting yet pertinent data. About the only thing those in our study could agree on was the alphabet, although not necessarily in letter order.”
“I’m afraid,” Richards added, “the days of enlightenment are long over.”
Photo by Gage Skidmore || CC-BY-SA-2.0