The Sciences

What do the people think?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJan 31, 2011 6:00 AM

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With all the geopolitical tumult and news I was a bit curious to see what The World Values Survey could tell us about public opinion in Egypt and Tunisia. Unfortunately, Tunisia hasn't been in any of their surveys, though Egypt has. So I thought it might be interesting to compare the USA, Sweden, Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq, for wave 5, which occurred in the mid-2000s. The main thing I took away from the exercise is to reflect that Americans are a more equivocal people than I had expected. Many of the questions have a 1 to 10 scale, and I'm providing the most extreme answers. So the low fractions for Americans for some questions point to a relative moderation on some topics...which is kind of weird when you are asking whether "People choosing their leaders is an essential characteristic of democracy." Since that's the definition of democracy broadly construed anything below a 10 out of 10 seems strange to me.


(Control + should increase font-size if it is too small)

USASwedenTurkeyEgyptIraq

Religion “very important”479759596

Politics “very important”111613937

Family life “very important”9592999896

Most people can be trusted396851941

Satisfied with life (10 out of 10)71221113

Great deal of control of life (10 out of 10)171624149

Men have more right to job than women72538984

Trust family completely73949596-

Approve of woman as single parent524992-

University more important for boy than girl1072625

Government ownership of business should be increased (10 out of 10)12122522

Hard work brings better life (10 out of 10)1982152

Great deal of confidence in armed forces3546734

Great deal of confidence in police171336--

Great deal of confidence in government5328-31

Very good for political system to have strong leader7423811

Very good to have democratic system4576577955

Complete agree, too much science, not enough faith1242014

Religious authorities interpreting laws is an essential characteristic of democracy20114819

People choosing their leaders is an essential characteristic of democracy5679487958

Protecting civil liberties is an essential characteristic of democracy4466445747

Women having sames rights as men is an essential characteristic of democracy5784575127

Cheating on taxes always justifiable2101

Accepting bribe always justifiable10001

Homosexuality always justifiable15611--

Abortion always justifiable7372-1

Divorce always justifiable1247591

Don't trust at all people of other religion533022-

Don't trust at all people of other nationality522940-

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