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COTD: Perceptions They Are A-Changin’

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Interesting chart from the WashPost, comparing current polling with old polling.  

The data,

 …revisited 1948 polling from Fortune magazine in which people were asked whether they would use certain words to describe most of their fellow Americans. The results were striking, showing a distinct increase in negative perceptions of other Americans. 

At YouGov’s website, this was presented as adjacent bar charts. I decided to take the data and present it as a scatterplot. Below, you can see where each word was measured in 1948 (x-axis) and 2023 (y-axis) — and how different the two values are. Words that sit on the diagonal line, for example, are ones that were applied equally in both years. Words far from that diagonal are ones that moved a lot.

In 1948, half of Americans viewed their fellow Americans as “generous.” Now, the descriptor that was most widely applied was “selfish.”

Not a surprise, given that Joey Chestnut won’t even share his hot dogs.Washington Post


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