Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Watching Fox News makes you stupid

Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Don't Watch Any News: Study (Huffington Post)

     Fox News viewers are less informed than people who don't watch any news, according to a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
     The poll surveyed New Jersey residents about the uprisings in Egypt and the Middle East, and where they get their news sources. The study, which controlled for demographic factors like education and partisanship, found that "people who watch Fox News are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government" and "6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government" compared to those who watch no news.
     Overall, 53% of all respondents knew that Egyptians successfully overthrew Hosni Mubarak and 48% knew that Syrians have yet to overthrow their government.
     Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, explained in a statement, "Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News. Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all."
     This isn't the first study that has found that Fox News viewers more misinformed in comparison to others. Last year, a study from the University of Maryland found that Fox News viewers were more likely to believe false information about politics.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't the obvious explanation simply that, for the most part, Fox viewers aren't that bright?

B. von Traven said...

That would appear to be an excellent hypothesis, though you might want to read the poll, for it claims that they controlled for various factors and that the data does not suggest only that Fox viewers are dumb, but that watching Fox renders one ignorant, even if one is, say, an independent or Dem

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