Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

January 31, 2011

What do the people think?

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.

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USA Sweden Turkey Egypt Iraq Religion “very important” 47 9 75 95 96 Politics “very important” 11 16 13 9 37 Family life “very important” 95 92 99 98 96 Most people can be trusted 39 68 5 19 41 Satisfied with life (10 out of 10) 7 12 21 11 3 Great deal of control of life (10 out of 10) 17 16 24 14 9 Men have more ...

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