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Education & Curriculum Discuss How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012 at the General Discussion; Jimmy Carter created the hilariously-named Department of Education..It went into effect in 1980... Since then?... How USA General Knowledge Has ...

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:15 PM
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Default How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

Jimmy Carter created the hilariously-named Department of Education..It went into effect in 1980...

Since then?...

How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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“General knowledge” is the body of facts that most people know and are assumed to know. But how general is it? How does it change over time?

A lovely little study from Kent State University has revealed how American students in 2012 performed on a comprehensive test of general knowledge that was developed in 1980. By comparing the results on each question with the original scores from college students three decades ago, the changes in knowledge were made clear.

Here’s the paper: General knowledge norms: Updated and expanded from the Nelson and Narens (1980) norms

A lot of the changes were unsurprising. Many of the questions concern 1970s pop culture and it’s to be expected that no-one know them today.

However, other results are more interesting. Knowledge of hockey has increased: out of 300 items, a question whose answer is “puck” used to be #16 from the top in terms of easiness, but now it’s #3. Likewise, migraines are much better-known now – the migraine question went up from #25 to #6, perhaps reflecting better awareness of the disease.

Curiously, knowledge that cheetahs are the fastest land animal has rocketed from #93 to #10. Maybe reflects the success of the Discovery Channel?

Some things have been forgotten, however. That Antarctica is the largest desert on Earth (it is) was #50 on the 1980 knowledge charts. Now it’s down to #249. That Franklin discovered lightning to be a form of electricity, and that Paris is the capital of France, have also slipped down the list.

The wrong answers were also quite fun. 30% of people thought Baghdad was the capital of Afghanistan (wonder why?), while 21% believed Budapest to be the capital of India (maybe they thought ‘Buddhist’?). 12% thought Mount Everest was in the Appalachians.

11% thought dynamite is called dynamite because it was invented by a Mr Dynamite, and my favourite, 7% said that the layer of fat that whales have is called “flubber”
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

Indeed - right wing talk radio has really dumbed down a huge portion of the population. That is evidenced on this forum every day. They even told them who to blame for their own ignorance.

Gotta stand in awe of the success of the propaganda machine.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Indeed - right wing talk radio has really dumbed down a huge portion of the population. That is evidenced on this forum every day. They even told them who to blame for their own ignorance.

Gotta stand in awe of the success of the propaganda machine.
you forgot to bring up Bush and Limbaugh.......
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:20 AM
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you forgot to bring up Bush and Limbaugh.......
Case in point.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
you forgot to bring up Bush and Limbaugh.......
Give it a second. Thread isn't over yet.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Give it a second. Thread isn't over yet.
Yeah, it basically is
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Indeed - right wing talk radio has really dumbed down a huge portion of the population. That is evidenced on this forum every day. They even told them who to blame for their own ignorance.

Gotta stand in awe of the success of the propaganda machine.
Sorry, right wing talk radio hosts constantly extoll their listeners to read books, especially on history, often in actual science.

Your statement is simply ridiculous.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Sorry, right wing talk radio hosts constantly extoll their listeners to read books, especially on history, often in actual science.
Yeah right - science - that's why they push for creationism to be taught in public schools.

Books? Their own books, sure. More propaganda for their sheep.

Tell me - what history book have you read recently?

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Originally Posted by Oftencold View Post
Your statement is simply ridiculous.
It's simply the truth - and you know it my propagandized friend.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post
Yeah, it basically is
For you maybe. Leftist tend to have very short attention spans and poor retention of information.

Sometimes Leftists want to know just how short I think that their powers of retention are.

Well, let me answer that.

Leftist tend to have very short attention spans and poor retention of information.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: How USA General Knowledge Has Changed, 1980 – 2012

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Originally Posted by Oftencold View Post
Leftist tend to have very short attention spans and poor retention of information.
Says a low information, easily manipulated con.
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