Perils of Perception 2015

This issue – The Perils of Perception – explores the challenges in associated with measuring and understanding the way people think and act.

The author(s)

  • Henri Wallard Ipsos, France
  • Darrell Bricker Global Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Canada
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Our global study highlights that people are often wrong about the make-up of their population and the scale of key social issues. We consider possible explanations for the gap between perceptions and reality, alongside perspectives from Ipsos colleagues in Italy and Sweden – the two countries that came top and bottom of our "Index of Ignorance" respectively.

 

To explore misperceptions further, we are delighted to have contributions from Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University, a leading thinker on the implications of voter ignorance. Mark Earls, author of several books on understanding human behaviour, argues that borrowed opinions are central to human life and help explain why people believe what they do.

 

We examine some of the ways we handle the perils of polling, particularly in accurately predicting voter turnout. We also explore the external threats that people worry about and whether they should be our biggest concerns. Finally, we look at the impact of real shifts in public perceptions by examining how the European Union is viewed by its citizens.

The author(s)

  • Henri Wallard Ipsos, France
  • Darrell Bricker Global Service Line Leader, Public Affairs, Canada

Society