Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by qed, Apr 11, 2018.
A trend or merely a right-of-passage?
More detailed breakdown of the results:
And the YouGov page:
I'm sure a good chunk of those who understood the question, and answered honestly that they were not convinced, were influenced by the current wave of popularity of the idea.
Chiming in as Metabunk's local friendly pet millenial, I highly doubt this. Most millenials I know are more interested in poking not-so-gentle fun at the flat earth community than they are in actually believing it. I know many millenials who may believe in the metaphysical, the paranormal, and the fringe, but as far as the flat earth ideology goes, I know not one single peer who believes in it. Gen-Xers and Boomers I know, on the other hand, tend to believe in it a bit more.
This is my subjective experience, of course, but seeing as how I'm a millenial myself I feel like I have more of a finger on the pulse of the millenial zeitgeist.
How many very religious christian millennials do you know?
Probably seven or eight, depending on the definition of 'very religious'. Most millenials I know who would believe in this are more the type to disbelieve anything and everything that the mainstream media/science would tell them, and are more the new age/spiritual type rather than Christian. I know a handful of millenials who believe everything sites like Natural News tell them, who are into chemtrails, the anti-vax movement, false flags, alternative health, anything that isn't "what 'they' want you to think". Of those who question everything mainstream, not a single one of them questions the shape of the earth that I can see. If they do, it's the only conspiracy they are not extremely vocal about.
Can we correct the thread title to "One third of AMERICAN millenials ... " since it was an exclusively American survey?
So you think they were just having a bit of fun with the survey?
"Other/Not sure" is actually the "correct" answer, technically, at least not wrong. Although the first and perhaps second is reasonable as well. One can not simply assume "other/not sure" means they think the earth might be flat.
There seems to be a negative correlation between age and belief that the earth is flat though, but perhaps that is not so surprising.
That's my hunch, yeah. I see a lot of headlines about millenials that are sensationalized (i.e. 'Millenials eat Tide Pods'--that was a meme that then turned into a few viral videos, people made fun of said viral videos and headlines went wild) and think that this is one of them.
Reading up on YouGov a bit, I'm even more convinced that this is the case:
It's similar to any number of sites that reward people for mindlessly answering surveys, and I could definitely see enough millenials fooling around with it that the results are skewed and then Express takes already slightly skewed results and turns it into a FLAT EARTH SHOCK!!!!!!! headline.
Kids glom onto all kinds of fads (holy **** I just realized I consider anything under 22 a "kid" now when did I get so old?). I suspect this is no different than pogs or tomagachis or planking or tide pods. Bunk falls into it, to. The alien autopsy was big in my high school, until a few years after my graduation Loose Change took over that social role. And my niece's friends were all into false flag bunk until she went to college and found a group who'd be her friend if she was into manga.
I've said in the past how conspiracy theories come in waves, as the less committed move on to more trendy topics, leaving the deeper and deeper fringe to take over an ever shrinking community. Kids jumping the bandwagon of stupid stuff is, I think, a big part of it. 9/11 fades, chemtrails rise. Chemtrails fade, flat earth rises. One generation grows up and discovers sex and alcohol, another takes over with terrible music and new bunk, armed with just enough knowledge to be exploited but not yet armored with the experience to protect themselves.
I do when I take those survey things. Plus I lie about my age*, because at my age whenever I finish the survey they tell me I don't fit any of their marketing criteria so I don't get the rewards. it's annoying. So yea I'm always 22 or so because it seems that is the consumer target.
*I actually lie about everything. and they must have this issue a lot because they will ask like 3 different times "what was your age again?" "where do you live again?"
What we do see in the poll, though, is a steady and consistent trend towards globe earth belief being stronger the older the respondent, and doubt in the globe earth being weaker. If we assume that the millenials were 'messing about', they would be bucking this trend. And if we assume a percentage of them were, we may as well assume a percentage of the other groups were too - which may mean less people overall think the earth is/may be flat, but wouldn't alter that millennials would be the most likely to think this.
My feeling is that a very small percentage were messing about, but overall the figures are fairly accurately representative. The sample size was 8,215, spread over five age groups. On average, that makes 1,643 per age group - more than enough to have fairly good confidence in the results.
In a nutshell, the exact figures may be slightly skewed, but the trends indicated are probably about right.
Though, as Hevach points out, it's also much more likely that younger people are affected by fads.
(Anyone under about 26 looks like a kid to me, Hevach - does that mean I'm 4 years older than you? )
I agree this is likely the strongest factor. "It's hip to be different".
But still 16% checked "other/I don't know" (which is probably what I would check as I'm not really reading the questions).
I think there was a poll that said 1 in 4 Americans don't know the Earth revolves around the Sun. So.. "I don't know" might literally mean "I don't know" ie. I never thought about it or I don't understand the question. I don't personally think that equates to "not convinced the earth is round" . So maybe a slightly more accurate title would be "25% of millennials blah blah"
I think the 'very religious' information is more interesting. although again, some respondents might be trolling a bit and
where are you seeing that? I cant find a link to the actual data.
(although I do believe the younger group had plenty of respondents since itune gift cards are one of the rewards)
Answer 3+4: 9 7 4 4 3, that is pretty strongly negatively correlation [with age] but to determine if this is a problem with millenials in particular, or just an age thing, you would also have to compare with identical surveys made 10, 20, 30, etc, years ago.
Yougov only sample voluntary internet users:
That means they have problems with selection bias, e.g. there might be less elderly that use the internet and the ones that do are perhaps more educated, etc. So Yougov don't get a truly random sample and thus the results are not very accurate. They do try to compensate for that though.
I don't doubt some of those surveyed truly believe the Earth is a frisbee in space, but a lot are probably just not being serious and messing about with the poll. I'm 26 but I know I like to troll the odd poll. Some doubt because it's become a meme at this point and want to have a bit of fun with people on the internet or their favourite celebrity is a flat earther; can't trust NASA because photoshop.
It's only 9% that are flat earthers and 16% unsure/other. one third makes a sexier headline.
It's in the OP.
Mick's links'll take you to the main site, eventually. Though I see the survey is still running, and the latest figures are a bit more slanted towards globe earth belief.
As a provision I am not saying believers of FE are mentally ill, but I would be interested to see a category for people that identify with a mental illness
no it's not. I'm talking about the numbers breakdown.
That YouGov page behaves oddly. The poll was on Feb 6, buy yesterday it said it was a live poll.
thanks but I was looking for the breakdown. you know, the "n=" for each category.
like here, it says they do report margins of errors.. but I'm not finding any of that info on their website. (it's a weird website to navigate)
The current page seems to have degraded somewhat. Maybe a bug. Older version of the page have a percentage breakdown
With 8215 people sampled.
"Results are weighted to be representative of the US population." means that the 8215 people are not representative of the US population. So they multiply the results by variosu number to try to correct for this. Like if 90% of the respondents were under the age of 35, but only 45% of the US population is, then they reduce the "weight" of that 90% - so they only contribute 0.5 votes each. It's more complex with multiple variable (and, I suspect, not perfectly solvable)
thanks I was just now looking up what 'weighted' is. and a bit about the 'margin of error debate'. (not that I doubt the general results, I just like looking at exact numbers)
add: and by exact numbers I mean, exactly how many in each age group chose very religious etc. not percentages, real people numbers.
The 1 very religious christian millennial I know is the same 1 flat earther I know.
The breakdown is there on the current page also; need to click the tabs beneath the table.
Anyone have the link to the "live poll" (rather than the "very religious" page)? Figures were slightly different - eg, 89% rather than 84% overall. I know I visited it yesterday but I'm having a devil of a time finding it now.
As for figures, if the over-18 population of the US is about 245 million, the 2% who state a full belief in flat earth represents around 5 million people - which seems ridiculously high.
At the very least, I'd want to see percentages to one decimal place; the actual figures; and some indication of the confidence level.
It is now. It wasn't last time I looked.
It does not matter what you ask, there's never less than 1% for any question that I can recall. Ghosts, aliens, demons, magic, Mandela, chemtrails, Flat Earth, simulation, etc. They all get (theoretically) millions of believers.
that's what I'm looking for.
you see on the religious question data page where it says "(n.138)" ? Normally the "n" means that is specifically the number of people who answered the question. It matters somewhat because 138 people isn't a lot of people.
I'm looking for the number of 25-34 year olds who took the poll. etc.
the Huffington Post which uses yougov to do their polls/surveys wrote this in Feb 2015 about the margin of error being reported with the poll.
source link with next quote.
Basically the 'debate' seems to be that if you post the standard margin of error people will take that as a definite thing, and it isn't definite. And if you don't post a margin of error, people may not realize there is a margin of error
This is 3 years ago. But perhaps that is why we aren't seeing the margin of error. Even more reason the actual numbers should be available.
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