The AP Race Study

Posted in Book Reports, Politics, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on October 27, 2012

The first link was from the Washington Post. The AP story is coming to a media outlet near you. The headline is AP poll: A slight majority of Americans are now expressing negative view of Blacks.

There are so many windows in that glass house. This is a 3-S problem: sampling, semantics, statistics. It is said that people will believe anything you say, if you can trot out a study that agrees with you. This *matter* requires a bit of examination.

AP reports “The explicit racism measures asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about Black and Hispanic people. In addition, the surveys asked how well respondents thought certain words, such as “friendly,” ‘’hardworking,” ‘’violent” and “lazy,” described Blacks, whites and Hispanics.

The same respondents were also administered a survey designed to measure implicit racism, in which a photo of a Black, Hispanic or white male flashed on the screen before a neutral image of a Chinese character. The respondents were then asked to rate their feelings toward the Chinese character. Previous research has shown that people transfer their feelings about the photo onto the character, allowing researchers to measure racist feelings even if a respondent does not acknowledge them.”

The AP article has a link to a 34 page report about the study. The “implicit” questions using Chinese characters were not discussed in this report. The first 12 pages are mostly about the November election.

Page 13 has a bizarre bit of data. The 2010 answers will be on the left, followed by a dash, with the 2012 percentage on the right. For Mitt Romney, only 2012 results are available. This is weird, and it calls the overall accuracy of the study into question.

IMG4. Do you happen to know the religion of each of the following people? If you don’t know, you can mark that too. Barack Obama Protestant 26-28, Catholic 4-5, Mormon 0-0, Jewish 0-18, Muslim 17-10, Some other religion 8-2, No religion 2-35, Don’t Know 41-2, Refused/not answered 1-28 Mitt Romney Protestant 2, Catholic 2, Mormon 67, Jewish 0, Muslim 0, Some other religion 1, No religion 0, Don’t Know 26, Refused/not answered 2.

There are two more pages of questions about the election, and then the race questions start. RAC7. How much do you like or dislike each of the following groups? The possible answers are Like a great deal, Like a moderate amount, Like a little, Neither like nor dislike, Dislike a little, Dislike a moderate amount, Dislike a great deal, Refused/Not answered. Whites went first, followed by Blacks and Hispanics. (The term African Americans was not seen by this reporter.)

After some more election questions, we get another race question. RAC8. When it comes to politics, would you say that each of the groups listed below has too much influence, just about the right amount of influence, or to little influence? The question was repeated for, in this order, Whites, Blacks, Elderly people, Wealthy people, Hispanics, and Immigrants.

The next question is RAC11, one of the “explicit” questions. It was asked first about Blacks, then Whites, then Hispanics. How well does each of these words describe most _____? The words were friendly, determined to succeed, law abiding, hard working, intelligent at school, smart at everyday things, good neighbors, dependable, keep up their property, violent, boastful, complaining, lazy, irresponsible.

Lets take a time out, and say a couple of things. This is a long article, and may get your blood pressure upset. If you want to skip the rest of the text, and look at the pictures, that is all right. If you want to see the results for these questions, look at this report. If you have read this far, you might agree with the author that this survey was not exactly fair, and should not be taken very seriously. Take another look at how many people think Barack Obama is a Jew.

RAC12. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements. The choices are: Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, Strongly agree, Refused/Not answered. The statements are:
* Irish, Italians, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up.
* Blacks should do the same without special favors
* It’s really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if Blacks would only try harder, they could just be as well off as whites
* Generations of slavery have created conditions that make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class
* Blacks are demanding too much from the rest of society
* Over the past few years, Blacks have gotten LESS than they deserve
* Most Blacks who receive money from welfare programs could get along without it if they tried
Government officials usually pay less attention to a request or complaint from a Black person than from a white person
* Over the past few years, Blacks have gotten more ECONOMICALLY than they deserve

RAC13. Some people say that Black leaders have been trying to push too fast. Others feel that they haven’t pushed fast enough. What do you think?

RAC14. How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think ______ are responsible for creating? This was asked first about Blacks, then Whites, then Hispanics.

RAC15. How much discrimination against ______ do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead? The possible answers were A lot, Some, Just a little, None at all, Refused/Not answered. This was asked about, in this order, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Men, Women, Evangelical Christians, and Immigrants.

The questions shift back to Barack Obama at this point. BKS1. How similar do you think Barack Obama is to most Black Americans? BTH1. Where was Barack Obama born, as far as you know? On page 29, the demographic information section starts. Special emphasis is given to the religion of the respondent.  On page 33, the traditional demographics are covered: age, gender, education, race, census region, and marital status. The respondents were not asked about income.

The poll was taken by GFK. 1,071 adults were interviewed, August 30 – September 11, 2012. The survey was conducted online. “METHODOLOGY The survey was conducted using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, GfK provides at no cost a laptop and ISP connection. People who already have computers and Internet service are permitted to participate using their own equipment. Panelists then receive unique log-in information for accessing surveys online, and then are sent emails throughout each month inviting them to participate in research.”

People have been linking to the WP story on facebook, with a variety of comments. These comments probably say more about the commenter, than it does about race relations in America. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

UPDATE Page thirteen of the report has been updated. Apparently, the correct results show that 18% of respondents think BHO is a Muslim, with 0% thinking he is Jewish. HT to xdog.

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