But the good news is that we might be more liberal than we thought.

Indians most clueless about fellow Indians Survey PTI/file photo
news Perceptions Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 18:00

Indians rank the first among 40 countries in their ignorance about their country and the perceptions that fellow citizens have. 

The results are from the "Perils of Perception" survey published on Wednesday by the British social institute company Ipsos. 

India is followed by neighbour China (second), Taiwan (third), South Africa (fourth) and the USA (fifth).

The Ipsos survey found that citizens of the Netherlands were the most accurate. The citizens of the UK and South Korea were second and third respectively.

Across, the world, the most common misconception was about wealth distribution, as people thought wealth was more distributed than it actually is. 

For instance, Indians think nearly 40 % of the country’s wealth is owned by 70% of the population when in actuality, the bottom 70% owns only 10% of the country’s total wealth.

Among the common misconceptions was the estimate of the Muslim population in their respective countries. According to the surveyors, most people said that the Muslim population in their country was much more than the actual figure.

Interestingly, most people thought their fellow citizens were less happy than they actually were. Many also went wrong when it came to predicting the attitudes that others in their country had towards homosexuality, including in India. People assumed that their fellow citizens were more intolerant than they actually are. The same holds good when it comes to "sex between unmarried people" in India. 

 â€śAcross all 40 countries in the study, each population gets a lot wrong. We are often most incorrect on factors that are widely discussed in the media, such as the proportion of our population that are Muslims and wealth inequality. We know from previous studies that this is partly because we over-estimate what we worry about,” Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, London, said.

“There are multiple reasons for these errors – from our struggle with simple maths and proportions, to media coverage of issues, to social psychology explanations of our mental shortcuts or biases,” Duffy added.



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