The perils of perception

Here’s an interesting look at what people think vs. the reality, based on a handful of statistics (life expectancy, voter rate, unemployment rate, murder rate, percentage of immigrants, and several others).

Start with a quiz. Choose a country and find out what you know:


Here’s an example question from the quiz on Japan. We talked about this in class a few weeks ago, so everyone should get this right:

After you find out your results, try another country. Or go straight to the Perils of Perception site to find out the results of their survey.


For students who are starting new research projects this week, remember how important it is to “triangulate” your research: gather information not only from the internet but also from people, both experts and lay opinions. That may include using LINE to find out what your friends know and think. It may include dropping by your local Ward Office or City Office to find out official policies and practices. It may include setting up an interview with someone who knows a lot about your topic. Wikipedia is not off-limits, but it should not be your only source of information.


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