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November 14, 2013 5:22 PM   Subscribe

The News IQ Quiz by the Pew Research Center. Test your knowledge of prominent people and major events in the news by taking our short 13-question quiz. Then see how you did in comparison with 1,052 randomly sampled adults asked the same questions in a national survey conducted online August 7-14 by the Pew Research Center.

When you finish, you will be able to compare your News IQ with the average American, as well as with the scores of college graduates and those who didn’t attend college; with men and women; and with people your age as well as other ages.

I got 11/13, but I ain't sayin' which 2 I missed.
posted by jquinby (155 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
11/13. I don't watch the news on TV, nor do I go to news websites except when following links from places like this.
posted by Foosnark at 5:27 PM on November 14, 2013


12. Couldn't peg Marissa Mayer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:29 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


12/13 with most of my news from MetaFilter, Reddit front page (really just the first handful of links), and NPR once in a while.
posted by gray17 at 5:30 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


11/13. I don't watch the news on TV, nor do I go to news websites except when following links from places like this.

11/13. I don't even news.
posted by IvoShandor at 5:31 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


13/13! w00t!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:32 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


13/13! w00t!

Oh, and most of my news is from Metafilter, lefty blogs, gay blogs, and skimming the headlines on a handful of new sites (CNN, local paper, NYT, etc.).
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:34 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13 and kind of embarrassed that the "which country is this" is the one I missed, since I felt pretty confident that it was Syria.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:35 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. Only missed the Florida senator. I don't watch TV news and only read newspapers online based on links from Twitter and here. Also: NOT EVEN AMERICAN.
posted by chrominance at 5:36 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


13/13, and honestly I'd have more respect for the judgment and thought of someone who had totally flubbed several of those questions. The quiz is a really weird mishmash of actual useful-to-citizenship knowledge and news-junkie trivia — being able to identify a photo of Marissa Mayer is really not something that should be mistaken for an indication of important knowledge in life or in politics. It's weird how this kind of thing is so often framed on the presumption that borderline addictive levels of news consumption would make people well-informed citizens rather than distracted or ideologized media junkies.
posted by RogerB at 5:37 PM on November 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


(edit: also Facebook)

I'm surprised that the DOW Jones question was missed more than the Kennedy or Mayer questions.
posted by gray17 at 5:37 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13. For the population one I guessed Israel, which I thought was reasonable since I'd just been reading about large family sizes there. And then I guessed Syria on the map one, which I'm only confessing to make triggerfinger feel better. It is embarrassing.
posted by HotToddy at 5:38 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hawaii is not shaded. I call bullshit.
posted by themadthinker at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


13/13.

I was scared when I saw the "name this country" question because I am terrible at those, but it was kind of huge giveaway that the country in question was in Africa.

But really though... is not being able to pick out countries on a map really that much of a sign of ignorance? I mean, if I have a need to know where Germany lies in relation to Liechtenstein I know where to find out -- my brain just doesn't do borders well.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hawaii's law takes effect the 2nd of December. But that was my only wrong answer too, and for that reason.
posted by Nothing at 5:44 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


i thought Syria also.

i was like that's Egypt and then second guessed myself into wrongness. dang.

i don't see much visual news, so the pictures ones were not good for me.
posted by sio42 at 5:47 PM on November 14, 2013


Also, wouldn't the photo-identification questions be very likely skewed by medium, with TV news consumers way outperforming audio, newspaper, and Internet news consumers? The "What the Public Knows" page doesn't seem to have any discussion of differences between forms of news media consumption.
posted by RogerB at 5:48 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


11/13 - not American, and the two I got wrong were the ones involving graphs. Perhaps I'm just not graph-oriented.

I wasn't sure about the % of women in congress either, but sadly it was a pretty reliable guess to put in the lowest value listed.
posted by gadge emeritus at 5:48 PM on November 14, 2013


Interesting fact about Marissa Meyer: Listen to Marissa Meyer laugh exactly once and you will never forget who Marissa Meyer is.
posted by curuinor at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


12/13 - missed the Dow Jones graph question (1 and 2 seemed like a tossup to me).

I agree that it was a weird mish-mash and I could have missed a lot more if I wasn't good at taking tests.
posted by muddgirl at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2013


Wow, I've seen lots about Marissa Mayer online, but somehow no pictures. I wouldn't have guessed she's so young (and pretty). So I assumed she was the alpine skier.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not only Hawaii, they were also missing New Jersey, which is why I missed that one.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:50 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


lol 12 out 13 i am in finance and the one i got wrong was the DJIA chart
posted by lulz at 5:50 PM on November 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Illinois isn't shaded either -- again, because of the newness. I still figured out what the map was, though, just by assuming that they didn't make the graphics within the last week. The population one was my only true guess, and I got it right.

Results of this quiz don't actually demonstrate anything, though.

Is it possible I miss pop quizzes? Is that a thing that happens to people as they age?
posted by tzikeh at 5:51 PM on November 14, 2013


13/13, but I was guessing based on likelihood on several.
posted by kyrademon at 5:52 PM on November 14, 2013


Ok, I missed the US map question and the one about the Dow.
posted by jquinby at 5:54 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13, on account of being 10% too optimistic about the congressional gender gap. As if this Congress wouldn't be the worst at everything.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2013


The best part about getting all 13 is that I can now proudly claim to be a 1%er.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


12/13, I missed the percentage of female congresspeople by 10%.
posted by graymouser at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2013


13 = mefi
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 5:57 PM on November 14, 2013


10/13. Whiffed the same-sex marriage question - I could have sworn Oregon had legalized it. Missed the graduation rate question. Misidentified Marissa Mayer.
posted by kafziel at 6:00 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. Missed the DJIA question, but I'm bad with squiggly little graphs.
posted by rdone at 6:02 PM on November 14, 2013


Marissa Mayer laugh. Thank you for making me google this.
posted by Hlewagast at 6:04 PM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


9/13, and damn proud of it. That is, until I read the comments and y'all made me feel bad. But still, that's 90%, right?
posted by SNACKeR at 6:06 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13. Missed same-sex marriage question and the graduation rate question.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:07 PM on November 14, 2013


13/13. I suppose I should be happy to be in the 1% of something in America.
posted by pmurray63 at 6:11 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


12/13 - as the image was replaced, I recognized that youngest was at the bottom of the graph, not top, and that not even Japan would be so overwhelmingly in the oldest cohort.
posted by wotsac at 6:13 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lebben. Marissa Mayer and the college thing.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:16 PM on November 14, 2013


Missed the graduation rate question, but I'm calling it shenanigans because "about the same" is ambiguous. Within the same order of magnitude could be considered "about the same" for some back of the envelope computations. I figured women to be higher, but also figured not by more than 50% which, as of the 2009 chart here, it isn't. If you have 1.49 and you round off to the nearest integer, that's 1. Ergo, "about the same."
posted by juv3nal at 6:18 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


13/13. I no teh newz.
posted by chasing at 6:19 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


13... I get my news here and at Fark.
posted by pjern at 6:21 PM on November 14, 2013


Ok, I'll fess, 9/13. I don't watch news on purpose, but I'm feeling kind behind the metafilter curve now. Maybe I should click through on things other than kitteh videos and gender politics.
posted by eggkeeper at 6:23 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


12/13 for this news junkie who doesn't follow the Dow.
posted by Gotanda at 6:24 PM on November 14, 2013


Good thing that photo wasn't of Rory McIlroy, because that would have been a problem.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:30 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13, missed the Dow Jones. Do I lose or gain points for not being American?
posted by N-stoff at 6:31 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13, the Dow got me.
posted by gaspode at 6:31 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13. Missed the Dow Jones chart because I don't give a shit, and got suckered into missing the same-sex marriage question because Hawaii wasn't shaded.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:32 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


on account of being 10% too optimistic about the congressional gender gap. As if this Congress wouldn't be the worst at everything.

Haha yeah I thought "20% is what I heard when I first started learning about feminism years ago, 40 is too high, so surely..."
posted by Danila at 6:33 PM on November 14, 2013


I'm an idiot. At least compared to the rest of y'all.

10 of 13

But I am way smarter than my dog.....most of the time.
posted by lampshade at 6:33 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


12/13. I guess I did quite well for a non-American, yay - but yeah, was also overoptimistic on the gender balance in your Congress. 20%?! That's lower than expected...
posted by monocot at 6:37 PM on November 14, 2013


I missed the Dow and population questions, and I'm okay with that. (I'm DQing the state question because Hawaii.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:41 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13 for this non american. Didn't get women in congress or the Dow Jones.
posted by Greener Backyards at 6:43 PM on November 14, 2013


I got 12/13 mainly by guessing.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:44 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13. I call shenanigans on question 1, because it's totally out of date. Also failed the Dow Jones because I can't say I ever look at graphs of the market.
posted by Joh at 6:47 PM on November 14, 2013


This definition of news isn't really useful to anyone outside of news networks. I'd rather be asked which states currently have the highest/lowest ratio of taxes paid vs. federal dollars received, where the major population centers of the county are and which are growing vs. shrinking, who are our primary trading partners, and what trade agreements we're party to, what the top three expenditures are in the current federal budget, etc..

11/13.
posted by postcommunism at 6:50 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


11/13.

(I'm a lucky guesser; also missed the Dow.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:52 PM on November 14, 2013


10/13. Didn't know what country the population graph was, didn't know the DJIA chart, and I refuse to feel bad that I don't know what Marissa Meyer looks like. I could tell you who she is and why she's liked and hated, but apparently that's less important than knowing what she looks like.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:53 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


My ignorance on the supreme court one was obscured by process of elimination. I didn't know that Anthony Kennedy was the right answer, I just knew that everyone else wasn't. Same with Nigeria.
posted by postcommunism at 6:57 PM on November 14, 2013


being able to identify a photo of Marissa Mayer is really not something that should be mistaken for an indication of important knowledge in life or in politics

I had no idea what Marissa Mayer looked like but knew that it wasn't Wendy Davis or Kathleen Sebelius, and guessed that it wasn't Lindsey Vonn because I was picturing *looks it up* Picabo Street.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:57 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. Like others here, I didn't see states shaded that I know allow same-sex marriage.
posted by massless at 7:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was baffled at the states for that reason but decided none of the others fit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


8 out of 13 - 65% better than Americans. I'm Australian.
posted by Kerasia at 7:04 PM on November 14, 2013


9/13, also Australian. I was actually tossing up between George Ramos and Marco Rubio, and went with Ramos because of his professional green background.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:09 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13- for some reason, I had thought Scalia had been much more unpredictable in recent opinions than was actually the case. Also, I am drunk.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:14 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


11 of 13. Missed the Dow and the Men/Women Graduating College one.
posted by snwod at 7:17 PM on November 14, 2013


12. Missed the Dow Jones, but I don't pay that close of attention to it because I'm not convinced it's a good broad financial indicator. Even so, it was 50-50 between 1 and 2; I just guessed wrong.

I don't mind saying I got Marissa Meyer on a guess as well. (Also I was confused on SS marriage states, but it was the one that seemed rightest of the options and I'm a decent test-taker so I guessed the test there.)
posted by immlass at 7:19 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13
I missed the DJIA and the women in congress question (I said 30%).
I work in finance and I am a lady.
:(
posted by phunniemee at 7:19 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


13. The Dow one almost got me, but in the lead-up to the late-2008 crash, the numbers were already high all year, not a sudden spike then crash.

(not that I have any damn money in the market, but...)
posted by notsnot at 7:22 PM on November 14, 2013


Hey, in just a few hours it's time for the (somewhat more challenging) weekly Slate News Quiz!
posted by Snerd at 7:29 PM on November 14, 2013


11/13, which I thought was pretty good, but then I saw that I hit the wrong button on the Supreme Court question and accidently said Clarence Thomas was the swing justice instead of Kennedy. So, I'm claiming 12/13.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:35 PM on November 14, 2013


10 but not an American. Missed Florida senator, women in congress and blonde lady.
posted by rocket88 at 7:36 PM on November 14, 2013


13/13

BOOYAH
posted by gimonca at 7:37 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


WE ALL MUST KNOW THE FACE OF SNOWDEN. IT IS OUR DUTY AS KNOWERS.
posted by srboisvert at 7:40 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


13/13. Fortunately there were no questions involving Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, or Miley Cyrus.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 7:42 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I found it interesting that so many people got the Dow question wrong. Surely it's very common knowledge that the stock market crashed in late 2008, then entered a strong recovery? There's only one graph that even depicts a fall-spike pattern like that.
posted by downing street memo at 7:46 PM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


13/13. As usual, I assigned my score to the 32 year old females with some college education.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:51 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


12/13, on account of being 10% too optimistic about the congressional gender gap. As if this Congress wouldn't be the worst at everything.

Sadly, the current Congress, with only about 20% women, is actually the best it's ever been, according to Wikipedia.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 7:54 PM on November 14, 2013


13/13. I love quizzes like this!

I'm kind of shocked at the number of people who apparently misidentified Egypt. I mean... the shaded country is in Africa! Near the Suez Canal! The Nile is flowing through there!

Missed the graduation rate question, but I'm calling it shenanigans because "about the same" is ambiguous. Within the same order of magnitude could be considered "about the same" for some back of the envelope computations. I figured women to be higher, but also figured not by more than 50% which, as of the 2009 chart here, it isn't. If you have 1.49 and you round off to the nearest integer, that's 1. Ergo, "about the same."

Heh. I guess women and men earn about the same salaries, have about the same life expectancy, and are about the same average weight and height than. Cool.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think a lot of people know that March 2009 is when the market stopped falling (which is why I looked for a falling graph that start ticking back up in later 2009). The only reason I know this is because I was reading an interesting article on the volatility index yesterday.

So 13/13, thanks to sheer luck.
posted by librarylis at 7:54 PM on November 14, 2013


The gay marriage one was missing Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey. Boo.
posted by MythMaker at 7:58 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my defense [75% when the denomiantor is 13!?] I don't recognize faces well.

It seems more fundamental to know the answer to "What kind of policy is the U.S. Federal Reserve primarily responsible for?" than to recognize the face of Edward Snowden or Marissa Mayer.

Edward Snowden and Marissa Mayer are important for what they stand for - recognizing pictures of them not so much.

/Sour grapes
posted by vapidave at 7:58 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm scared!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:05 PM on November 14, 2013


10 of 13. Apparently I don't know what Edward Snowden, Marissa Mayer, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average look like.
posted by eruonna at 8:07 PM on November 14, 2013


The gay marriage one was missing Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey. Boo.

That's the one I missed - I opted for "allow the recreational use of marijuana". It seems like there are more 420-friendly states than I thought, though, so that's a happy surprise.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:14 PM on November 14, 2013


In fairness, the quiz (and this post) specifies that it was administered August 7-14. So you can just consider it another part of the test to realize that those states which legalized gay marriage after the first week in August would not be shaded.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


13/13.

I love quizzes like this!

You mean, the kind you you're able to ace by guessing? Yeah, I like them too.
posted by spacewrench at 8:24 PM on November 14, 2013


I got 9 of 13... <nitpick>but this is from September,</nitpick> <insufferablebragging> and anyway I got 13 of 13 in the science quiz, so fuck y'all!</insufferablebragging>
posted by not_on_display at 8:33 PM on November 14, 2013


I missed gay marriage because it didn't have all the states shaded, and I missed the Dow Jones because I never, ever look at the financial section. 91% is still an A; I'll take it.
posted by headspace at 8:33 PM on November 14, 2013


You mean, the kind you you're able to ace by guessing? Yeah, I like them too.

What do you mean? Guessing randomly would generally result in 4-5 correct.
posted by Justinian at 8:40 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13, missed the DJIA question, slightly concerned at how dumb most of us apparently are about finance.
posted by naoko at 8:43 PM on November 14, 2013


but yeah, was also overoptimistic on the gender balance in your Congress. 20%?! That's lower than expected...

I'm kind of surprised it's as "high" as 20%. Not so optimistic about Congress here.
posted by Foosnark at 8:48 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13, missed the DJIA as well. If not knowing the exact shape of a time series based on an arbitrary selection of 30 stock symbols qualifies one as "dumb" about finance, well, then I guess I'm dumb.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:50 PM on November 14, 2013


I got 7 out of 13, which seems to be the lowest in this thread so far. In my defence, I'm Canadian. I didn't know what Marissa Meyer, Edward Snowden, and the Dow Jones look like; I thought Congress would have been closer to 30% women; I also assumed Oregon would have legalized same-sex marriage by now; and I just clicked on the only supreme court justice that comes up in the news regularly, Scalia. Are these good results? You be the judge.
posted by Dr. Send at 8:51 PM on November 14, 2013


Amazing how many people missed the the same ones, and I suspect for the same reasons. I too did not choose gay marriage because of Hawaii, and missed the DJIA one -- picked the chart which declined until 2009 and then upswung rather than the one that has more or less climbed since 2008... I'm gonna take a wild guess that others made the same mistake.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:53 PM on November 14, 2013


but yeah, was also overoptimistic on the gender balance in your Congress. 20%?! That's lower than expected...

I was absolutely floored to realize recently that Cory Booker is only the 9th Black Senator in U.S. History. Only the 7th in the 20th or 21st centuries as well: the first two were both from Mississippi in the 1870s... the third wouldn't be elected for another 92 years, in 1967.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:02 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very much on the right side of the chart. Makes me feel good.
posted by nostrada at 9:12 PM on November 14, 2013


12. I forgot that Iowa legalized same sex marriage, but didn't think they would have (Iowa just doesn't seem progressive enough to have--good for them), so I went with the higher minimum wage answer. I knew 16 states had legalized it, but didn't feel like zooming in to count--though it would appear, that wouldn't have worked either.
posted by whatgorilla at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2013


13/13, but the blond lady one was absolutely due to test taking skills rather than knowledge. Or perhaps more accurately due to less braggable application of various cues about women's age and milieu.
posted by janell at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2013


2/13 - I'm an idiot (said nobody in this thread)
posted by oceanjesse at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


omg the Marissa Mayer laugh. It sounds like she swallowed a turkey. SOMEONE SAVE THE TURKEY.
posted by littlesq at 9:23 PM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I got 11/13. Missed the Dow graph and the supreme court one.
posted by littlesq at 9:25 PM on November 14, 2013


I am the 1%! (I only got the Mayer one because I clicked on some MeFi Yahoo thing this week. Also, I am sometimes pretty good at quizzes.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:28 PM on November 14, 2013


Surely it's very common knowledge that the stock market crashed in late 2008, then entered a strong recovery?

I might have gone with 1 instead of 2 if I'd read the question more closely (I was focused on the date labels, which I clearly misread).
posted by immlass at 9:43 PM on November 14, 2013


I also assumed Oregon would have legalized same-sex marriage by now

Yeah, along with nearly all of us in Portland.
posted by vverse23 at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2013


In the spirit of the test, I used retained facts from news consumption plus sometimes logic to answer 13/13 correctly.

I had to guess whether that was a CEO or a skier, I admit.
posted by damehex at 9:54 PM on November 14, 2013


I was absolutely floored to realize recently that Cory Booker is only the 9th Black Senator in U.S. History. Only the 7th in the 20th or 21st centuries as well: the first two were both from Mississippi in the 1870s... the third wouldn't be elected for another 92 years, in 1967.

Another provocative way to put it: Barack Obama's 2004 Senate win is the halfway point on the list of all black senators in US history... and of that latter half, only one (Booker) was elected. The rest were appointed.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:56 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Whiffed the same-sex marriage question - I could have sworn Oregon had legalized it.

Yeah, and I thought there were more states than that so I picked the minimum wage.

I got a 12. Totally guessed Marissa Mayer by process of elimination, and she just looked like the type.
posted by bongo_x at 10:25 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. Guessed 30% of Congress was women. Usually putting the GOP out of my mind helps. Not that time.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 10:33 PM on November 14, 2013


It wasn't exactly a calculus exam. More like simple pub trivia for Americans. I got 11 and I live in Eastern Europe without a television. Who the fuck doesn't know where Egypt is? It's been sitting right there all pyramidy and sandy for about 5000 years.
posted by pracowity at 11:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


totally surprised I got 11/13. I get most news from here and the daily show ffs.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:01 PM on November 14, 2013


Hlewagast: "Marissa Mayer laugh. Thank you for making me google this."

OMG! That is creepy.

Anyway, 12/13. Missed the DJIA one. Broke people don't tend to give two figs about the stock indices.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:33 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. I also missed the DJIA one, wasn't sure at what point the market bottomed out exactly.
posted by Auden at 11:43 PM on November 14, 2013


12/13. Missed same sex marriage one. I'm also surprised at all the folks missing the DJIA and Egypt questions. Egypt?

Also, according to PEW, we 50+ folks totally rule.
posted by dougfelt at 12:00 AM on November 15, 2013


9/13, Australian; so I feel ambivalent about missing some US-centric questions.

I did get Egypt, so I felt good.
posted by solarion at 12:17 AM on November 15, 2013


13/13. The gay marriage vs minimum wage map was hard. Also, further evidence of spending too much time reading NYTimes, which isn't actually useful for real life.

On the DJIA one, Barack Obama announced on March 5, 2009, that stocks were too low and folks should start buying again. Widely pilloried for inappropriately offering stock market advice. Next day was the bottom of the market, the lowest point in the last 15 years. Anyone who acted on the president's suggestion was well-rewarded for their trust in him.
posted by kadonoishi at 12:35 AM on November 15, 2013


11/13. Given that I've been actively avoiding news programs/publications/websites for most of the past year I guess I'm gonna have to put the blame for my relative informedness squarely on you, MetaFilter! :P
posted by Jacqueline at 1:02 AM on November 15, 2013


10/13. Where was Judge Judy?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:18 AM on November 15, 2013


75% when the denomiantor is 13!?

The 75% is a percentile -- the percentage of the population you scored higher than -- not your quiz grade expressed as a percentage.

quick, someone link to a numeracy quiz!
posted by Jacqueline at 1:21 AM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Missed the Dow Jones, but I don't pay that close of attention to it because I'm not convinced it's a good broad financial indicator."

It's not, but it's a good indicator of the earnings of big corporations. And that's why this was not some unimportant or esoteric question — it's critical to understanding a basic feature of the economy of the last five years.

People here all know that unemployment has been high and wages stagnant. People here are broadly supportive of OWS. That group should know what the Dow looks like over that period — specifically, that it fell dramatically at the financial crisis and then almost immediately began moving upwards almost continuously until reaching and then surpassing the pre-crisis level by 2012. And it's quite a bit higher now.

Some of the more difficult questions were also testing the ability to identify the incorrect answers.

For example, the demographics graph question is extreme. I think people probably should have known it was a central african country on that basis alone. But the other choices were Japan, Netherlands, and Israel. Japan is notoriously an aging country. Similarly, the post-industrial European core is also well-known to be ageing. That leaves Israel. But that graph is far too extreme for Israel.

And that question is pretty important, really, because what's happening in Nigeria is both the consequence of some huge things happening in the region and is predictive of huge problems in the region.

We didn't actually have to recognize Rubio, just connect him to Florida and know that he's a senator and not a congressman. He's been a key GOP senator behind the push for immigration reform and people see him as a credible contender for the 2016 nomination.

That more women than men are getting undergraduate degrees is significant in several ways — that this represents improvement in the status of women, but that it's not as good as it might seem because of the distribution across majors with regard to future wages is still not favorable and because men still get more advanced degrees.

Placing countries on a map is partly arguably esoteric but partly quite relevant — especially with regard to regional conflicts and history, it's important to know the neighborhood. I guess some people will know this simply by association and past reference without regard to recognizing the geography, but it sure seems easier to me if you can visualize the geography.

Women have made strides in recent years in Congress, but most of it has been in the House of Representatives; the Senate is extremely unrepresentative. I think that people should be able to intuit that 40% or 50% can't be right for the House and that anything near one-in-three is too high, as well. Leaving 20%.

Snowden is like the Marissa Meyer question — I'm not sure why anyone should be expected to recognize these people by sight. Those of us who don't watch television are at a big disadvantage with these questions. I got Snowden correct because even on the web that photo was used everywhere. The Meyer question is the only one I got wrong.

I think it's probably not important that the average person knows what Google Glass is. However, if it's very successful and marks the beginning of wearable computing and mediated reality that is socially transformative, then I suppose you could argue in retrospect it was important to know this. But now? Not really.

Americans should know what role Kennedy plays on the SCOTUS. He's the swing vote, he's the most important justice in practical terms. Two other choices were the most consistent right-leaning and left-leaning justices, which people should recognize. And while Scalia isn't Thomas, he's very, very far from being a "swing vote".

Obviously, people should know these days what the US Federal Reserve does. The other choices were energy, tax, and trade policy. All of those should have been unambiguously wrong.

Finally, there was the "common core" question. That's education policy, which everyone says they care about but people often don't actually pay much attention to. So ideally people should get this one correct, but realistically I understand that many won't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:02 AM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I missed the gay marriage one because the chart didn't have Illinois highlighted.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:35 AM on November 15, 2013


Dane, got 12/13, missed DOW.

Love Marissa Mayer's laugh. A nice change from polished PR-trained suits.
posted by brokkr at 3:17 AM on November 15, 2013


12/13 and not an American.

I answered "allow the recreational use of marijuana" for the first question.

And educated guesses for the questions regarding the Floridian senator and the swing vote Supreme Justice.
posted by electricinca at 3:46 AM on November 15, 2013


11/13 here and I don't feel proud about it.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:50 AM on November 15, 2013


As a foreigner, this was an annoying mix of easy and hard questions. 8/13 for me, should have gotten the Dow one right. I knew the US map thing wasn't marijuana use because colorado was not shaded but I was also rather sure that the Dakotas would not have legal gay marriage but on the other hand there have been some left-wing political farm parties in the mid-west so I guess minimum wage. The only one of the Florida guys I recognized the name of was Rubio but for some reason I was absolutely sure he is a congressman. I just guessed the lowest number on the women in congress question, I would have guessed even lower if there had been an option so I guess I got lucky.

Egypt is just laughably easy. It's not like they were asking for some difficult to place country in the middle of Africa.

Snowden has been on Finnish news a lot as well so that one was easy for me. The age chart was obviously not any of the other options so Nigeria was the only one. I have no idea what a swing vote in the US supreme court even means. For the picture of the woman I only knew she was not the famous Lindsay Vonn but she seemed to young for a CEO or government minister so I guess state senator. I learned the answers to both education questions on MeFi.
posted by Authorized User at 4:33 AM on November 15, 2013


13/13 ... and I still feel basically very ignorant about current events. I guess checking google news in the morning is either not such a bad strategy or at least more than the larger demo does?
posted by sammyo at 5:02 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


37/13.

I missed the point that this was test of character to assess starfleet captains facing certain death, so I rigged the test.
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:08 AM on November 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


11/13. I don't know my Africa or my Supreme Court, apparently.
posted by emelenjr at 5:12 AM on November 15, 2013


Who the fuck doesn't know where Egypt is? It's been sitting right there all pyramidy and sandy for about 5000 years.

Well according to this study roughly half of Americans. Cynically I assume a close correspondence to the demographic that supports Creationism but that's purely supposition.
posted by sammyo at 5:12 AM on November 15, 2013


"I guess checking google news in the morning is either not such a bad strategy..."

Relatively speaking, I bet it is. Because while the people who watch a large amount of cable news believe that they are well-informed, this type of survey tends to show that they're not. I mean, they are relative to the people who don't consume much news at all.

But what people get from watching cable news is much less than you'd expect. And it's because it's the same few stories, and then a bunch of just nothing — people arguing and hitting talking points. It's what Palin attempts to regurgitate. And despite that it's around the clock, there's not much there.

In contrast, there's both more breadth and depth in written news, whether it's the newspapers or whatever. So, yeah, checking Google News every morning is going to inform you more than you'd expect and watching cable news is going to inform you less than you expect, but some not-inconsequential portion of the public wrongly believes that watching twenty different talking heads say the same ten things over four hours is somehow being extremely informed.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:17 AM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


11/13 - I switched to the two incorrect answers from the correct ones, Dow Jones and female Congressional representation, after doubting my gut.
posted by royals at 5:37 AM on November 15, 2013


I got 12/13, largely by randomly guessing some of the "who is this American" questions.

I also got 1/1 on "not treating a collection of 13 general knowledge questions as the ultimate, or even a particularly important, guide to how well-informed I am personally in relation to (America-centric) current affairs topics compared with other American test-subjects, because that would be foolish, even though this test states it is a "News IQ" test and anytime someone in an apparent position of authority says they are giving me an "IQ" test I want to get a high score because I want to consider myself "intelligent" and it doesn't matter if the so-called "IQ" test is a pseudo-scientific survey about trivia because they used the term "IQ" and the mere fact of the use of such term creates in me the expectation that it has relevance to my actual "IQ" which is a concept that somehow measures "intelligence" and which (without understanding it fully) I use a measure of my social standing among my peers and therefore self-worth".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:57 AM on November 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was surprised I got 13/13 because I guessed on a couple. I know several Marissa Mayer-related news stories (CEO, work from home, new logo, etc.) but I mostly get news from NPR and BBC to the picture didn't ring a bell. She had a super neat corporate haircut and that look of "pretty, but overworked and sort of A-type-ish" that I see at the Pilates studio in the golf community near where I work. Class profiling?
posted by freecellwizard at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


12/13. I get all my news from fark and 4chan.
posted by jfuller at 7:40 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


That group should know what the Dow looks like over that period — specifically, that it fell dramatically at the financial crisis and then almost immediately began moving upwards almost continuously until reaching and then surpassing the pre-crisis level by 2012. And it's quite a bit higher now.

If what you remember is that the economy went into a tailspin about 5-6 years ago (I'm middle-aged, give me a break) and that the stock market recovered and the economy didn't, the second chart looks reasonable. It just places the bottom (for the DJIA) in early 2008 instead of at the end. If your take on the importance of the Dow Jones is that it's crucial to understanding everything, chart 1 is screamingly obvious. If your take on the Dow Jones today is that it has recovered and the rest of the economy still sucks, the second item also fits that criterion.

The difference between the first and second items is really closer watching of the dates and your belief in the importance of the Dow as a piece of general knowledge, which, if you're not that heavily invested in stocks, is not a crucial point on a daily basis. Yes, that item picks a lower-information financial news reader from a higher one. I am lower-information about the Dow Jones as a deliberate choice.

But the quidnunc kid is right: this is a (frankly kind of class-biased) test of general news knowledge, not the be-all and end-all of whether you're worthy to participate in public life or post on the blue or whatever. Missing a few of these, even if you're American, doesn't make you a bad person or unfit to vote. It just says you're not totally up on what the cultural arbiters at Pew decided is this year's slate of important news items, which are frankly open to question. (I don't think knowing what Marissa Meyer and Edward Snowden look like is very important, for instance. I'd strike those questions in favor of "who is this person?" and offering the accomplishments of the listed names. But maybe that makes me anti-TVist or biased against visual learners.)
posted by immlass at 7:58 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


8/13. Guess I need to check up on the news more. :-/
posted by sperose at 8:07 AM on November 15, 2013


11/13. I missed the Supreme Court question and Egypt. I feel shame for both of these as a Canadian with a degree in Ancient History.
posted by right_then at 8:07 AM on November 15, 2013


I also just missed Melissa Mayer. I knew what two of the women looked like, Sibelius and Davis, but past that it was a coin flip.
posted by klangklangston at 8:16 AM on November 15, 2013


11/13 but I knew I blew the Dow Jones trend the moment after I clicked "next question." I blew the states that allow same sex marriage by answering with minimum wage.
posted by bz at 8:17 AM on November 15, 2013


I thought I was going to fail completely but I got 12/13! maybe I am not as ill-informed as I suspected.
posted by rmless at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2013


But the quidnunc kid is right

And anyone who disagrees must make a saving throw or take 1d6 damage to their News IQ.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aced it but that was partly luck - I guessed on several. The clue for me on the population chart was the poor longevity. I was hoping I was wrong on the 20% women thing but sadly, no. The same sex was a gamble because some newer states were missing, but nothing else seemed right. I was surprised to have gotten them all because I felt unsure.

I would never do as well as all you non-US people if I had to take a similar test with a preponderance of questions on your politics - I am very impressed with how well so many of you are doing!
posted by madamjujujive at 10:24 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


10/13. Missed Egypt (oops), Dow Jones and the Florida Senator (not American).

I too figured that the lowest number was a safe bet for women in Congress... I made myself sad.
posted by lwb at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2013


13/13. Take that, Pew Research Center!

I was unsure of the Marissa Meyer question. I was also a bit wobbly on the gay marriage one, but only because I've read about gay marriage issues in other states and the minimum-wage answer also seemed plausible.

However, pro-tip: This is a news quiz. When I was unsure, I asked myself "which of these people/things have been in the news the most?" and went with that answer. So, if you're not sure, do that.
posted by breakin' the law at 11:43 AM on November 15, 2013


11/13 no tv news
posted by judson at 1:06 PM on November 15, 2013


I got 12; made a couple of educated guesses that I got right. Only missed Egypt, could have sworn it was shaped differently, oops. Get my news mostly from MeFi and Twitter.
posted by statolith at 7:04 PM on November 15, 2013


Here's the US minimum wage map (via), a lot more states go strictly above the minimum than allow gay marriage but some (Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Wyoming) only apply the $7.25 federal "minimum" under conditions that seem pretty restrictive.
posted by Tobu at 7:44 PM on November 15, 2013


Just want to say, 13 out of 13. I blame the EDM.
posted by wierdo at 12:50 AM on November 16, 2013


Ivan Fyodorovich: ""Missed the Dow Jones, but I don't pay that close of attention to it because I'm not convinced it's a good broad financial indicator."

It's not, but it's a good indicator of the earnings of big corporations. And that's why this was not some unimportant or esoteric question — it's critical to understanding a basic feature of the economy of the last five years.
"

Oh please. Bean plate things much? If you don't understand issue XYZ then you deserve to lose your home or become unemployed. Get real and start understanding the myriad nuances that people went through. Or perhaps you would prefer to defend the Mitt Romney types who only have US$100 notes in their wallets and their decision to refuse to trade a single note for a little boy's US$1 note.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:35 AM on November 16, 2013


"I would never do as well as all you non-US people if I had to take a similar test with a preponderance of questions on your politics - I am very impressed with how well so many of you are doing!"

Yeah. It is very impressive. And also a bit depressing. I mean, I guess since the US is so important in world politics it makes some sense, but mostly it's just a form of cultural imperialism.

"The difference between the first and second items is really closer watching of the dates and your belief in the importance of the Dow as a piece of general knowledge, which, if you're not that heavily invested in stocks, is not a crucial point on a daily basis. Yes, that item picks a lower-information financial news reader from a higher one. I am lower-information about the Dow Jones as a deliberate choice."

Well, me too. Living below the poverty line, I have no connection with the financial news. But, also, I actively dislike, or even despise, the way that financial news dominates and frames civil discourse in the US. A wide swath of Americans equate the mood of Wall Street with the US economy and that's toxic. However, 2008 was a financial crisis and demonstrates that Wall Street is dangerously important to the economy, the US's and the world's.

Anyway, what I know about the Dow and financial news in general is solely how much of it leaks over into what I know of the macroeconomic news, which I follow very closely and carefully.

You're right that the second graph also tells that story of Wall Street doing well while the US suffers; but it includes a couple of pretty big downturns that, had they actually occurred, would have been relevant to the civil discourse about economic policy. In fact, I strongly suspect that graph is of some kind of political public opinion.

But the first chart, the correct chart, shows only a couple of small downturns but otherwise almost an uninterrupted and really quite spectacular rise from the solitary low at the beginning of 2009 through today. And that's basically the practical outline of the political discussion about the economy — for the plutocrats, things have been great.

They could not possibly care less about high unemployment — indeed, that's greatly contributing to earnings growth by keeping labor costs unusually low. They don't want much of anything to change, except that they fear that loose monetary policy will encourage inflation (meaning: wage growth and pain for the lender class), so that's Public Enemy #1. The GOP contesting the Yellen nomination? That's why. That Dow chart overlaid with the working age population employment ratio tells you 85% of what you need to know to understand the discussion of the economy in Washington.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:58 AM on November 16, 2013


I can't remember my score because I clicked on the Melissa Meyer laugh thing and now I'm dead.

Dead.

Thanks a lot Metafilter.
posted by fullerine at 2:18 AM on November 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


13 (and foreign). Booya.
posted by genghis at 7:31 AM on November 16, 2013


That Dow chart overlaid with the working age population employment ratio tells you 85% of what you need to know to understand the discussion of the economy in Washington.

My objection to the Dow as a news marker is that it's what appears on that quiz and not the unemployment numbers. This single fact tells you a lot of what you need to know about the slant of financial news coverage in the United States.
posted by immlass at 8:36 AM on November 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is very impressive. And also a bit depressing. I mean, I guess since the US is so important in world politics it makes some sense, but mostly it's just a form of cultural imperialism.

Respectfully, I completely disagree with you, Ivan F.

Firstly (albeit trivially), the ability to answer or guess where Egypt is, what a developing country's demographics may look like on a graph, and what a central reserve bank do are not cultural gifts that America has given us. Furthermore that event you may know as a Wall Street crash is referred to by some of us foreigners as a Global Financial Crisis, and there is more than one stock market in the world.

Secondly, and more profoundly, many other answers could have been (and in my case were) guessed based on a diligent reading of MetaFilter. I don't actually consider MetaFilter a form of cultural imperialism, but I agree that we could further the course of internationalism by all voting #1 quidnunc kid.

So, while American cultural imperialism may be a terrible force for evil in the world, I myself am not upset about knowing or being able to guess a few "current affairs" factoids about folks o'er the waves in the Untied Straights. I also know a few things about other countries, as does (I figure) pretty much everyone here.

I can only assume that your real shame with this quiz is that foreigners may learn the horrifying truth that Florida Senators actually exist, and are not just legendary bogeymen used to frighten vegetables into the mouths of fussy children. I sympathise with your lot, but I understand that garlic, sunlight and wooden stakes may provide us with some protection.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "Obviously, people should know these days what the US Federal Reserve does. The other choices were energy, tax, and trade policy. All of those should have been unambiguously wrong."

Interesting that two of the questions that the people with high school education or less actually did well on are two you complain about most vigorously. Over 70% of those who had no college experience identified Ed Snowden, by far their best performance on any question of the group. There were two other questions most of us got right, 61% answered that the federal reserve primarily controls monetary policy (Google Ron Paul?) and 54% correctly answered the same sex marriage question.
posted by wierdo at 12:13 PM on November 16, 2013


Who the fuck doesn't know where Egypt is? It's been sitting right there all pyramidy and sandy for about 5000 years.

Thank you for making me laugh after a hard week.
posted by medusa at 4:24 PM on November 16, 2013


The gay marriage one was missing Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey. Boo.

Gay marriage will not be legal in Hawaii until Dec. 2, and in Illinois on June 1, 2014. As for New Jersey, gay marriage became legal there on October 21, but the survey was done August 7-14, per the introductory notes.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:33 PM on November 17, 2013


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