June 15, 2017

The surprising number of American adults who think people answer dumb questions with truthful answers.

"The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows."

There's nothing dumber than forgetting that other people might have a sense of humor and are screwing with you.

When you're studying something among people you look upon as commoners, you'd better stop and wonder: Am I the Margaret Mead?

52 comments:

Gospace said...

Another dumb question:

Do you have a gun in the house?

No one I know answers yes, and those with kids tell them to answer no to schools and doctors.

Michael K said...

Fortunately, WaPo won;'t let me contaminate my mind with their bullshit.

Michael said...

I love it when I happen to pick up a telephonic poll. The form of the questions is always a dead giveaway to the hoped for answers. I am part of the problem with modern day polling accuracy and I suspect there are legions of us who collude to misdirect.

fivewheels said...

There's also such a thing as recreational lying. I've been interviewed a handful of times in man-on-the-street pieces, usually in a sports-fan capacity. It becomes a game to see which one of you can say the stupidest thing and get it on TV or printed in the paper. I have been identified on TV as "Kiadi Mundi", a slight misspelling of Jedi master Ki-Adi-Mundi.

Without thinking about it at the time, I guess the idea was: Why help the idiot media types spin their deceit? They lie, we lie.

rcocean said...

Aren't we all amazed that French fries come all the way from France?

Etienne said...

...according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy.

Silly me. I went to their web site, did a search on "chocolate milk", and nothing about brown cows, or any studies.

Then I searched for "chocolate milk brown cow" and received no hits.

You'd think they would publish their survey.

I suspect this is a Russian hack.

rcocean said...

And chocolate milk doesn't come from "brown cows"

Brown Cow Yogurt comes from Brown cows.

Chocolate milk comes from Chocolate Cows.

rhhardin said...

The last time I checked chocolate milk came chiefly from corn syrup.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Condescension is a clear and progressive problem. It all starts with conception... of an idea, an ideology that runs amuck and denies individual dignity and intrinsic value.

jv said...

Of course *some* chocolate milk comes from brown cows, because some dairy cows are brown! Not many cowherds in D.C., I guess.

Fen said...

"Chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows"

Diet Coke up my nose. Ya got me. Well done.

Fen said...

Ah surveys.

When I was in college I took a part time job doing surveys. 8 hours standing next to the order screen of a new McDonald's asking drive thrus where they were coming from, where were they going to, how much they spent weekly on fast food.

The key question was what part of town they had come from.

After about an hour of this, I realized I had enough of a pattern to extrapolate and take the next 7 hours. Not scientific, but enough to fool my employer into believing I had worked the full 8 hours.

I did this for about a month. Taking off at 10am to spend the rest of the day poolside. Easiest job I ever had.

Remember that next time you hear "surveys show"

Henry said...

Man those Samoans are a surly bunch.

Unknown said...

I always tell people that chocolate milk comes from cows that graze fields of chocolate beans. Strawberry milk comes from cows pastured on strawberry plants.

Makes sense right?

--Vance

Henry said...

Alas, the Jerseys. But for the Holsteins, chocolate milk would come from brown cows.

Be said...

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

-Gelett Burgess.

My Dad's favorite poem. (Undereducated Scandinavian from the Rust Belt.)

Sam L. said...

Brown cows eat cocoa beans; that makes chocolate milk. I thought EVERYBODY knew that!

Do I have a gun in the house? Not unless a 155mm howitzer is a "gun".

Henry, the Holsteins wear Jerseys only when they're playing soccer.

Ken B said...

Yes Michael. Unless they pay I always lie to pollsters and surveyors. Always.

Bob Boyd said...

When you're studying something among people you look upon as commenters, you'd better stop and wonder: Am I the moderator or is Meade?

FullMoon said...

I know there is racism, or appropriation, or something here evil. Cannot quite grasp it, though.

Unknown said...

"Man those Samoans are a surly bunch."

I once said that to a lady at a costume party, she was costuming as Margaret Mead. Made her day.

Unknown said...

"Anthropologists. Let's tell em we eat people."

Cartoon caption I saw somewhere.

Fen said...

There's cultural appropriations going on right under our noses!

Iconochasm said...

It's called The Lizardman Constant, the 3-10% of people who will give trollish or just bizarre answers to survey questions. Like the 7% of Americans who claim to be deeply prejudiced against heterosexuals.

Fen said...

LOL is it really called the Lizardman Constant or are you just putting us on?

whitney said...

And a lot of people will probably say that cheese grows on trees. I used to tell people that buffalo wings were the tiny wings on the back of the Buffaloes that kept the flies off. Quite a few people believed me

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Great Margaret Mead reference. There's also a cartoon where people, possibly on a South Sea island, are lounging in jeans and drinking Cokes. Caption something like: Quick, put on the native garb! The anthropologists are coming! I think Mead became so huge because it was part of boomer mythology to believe they were not only ahead of their time, they were getting close to non-Western cultures that were morally or spiritually superior.

David said...

"Am I the Margaret Mead?"

Maybe you meant "their" not "the."

"Am I their Margaret Mead?"

There.

Anyway it's a good insight.

Christy said...

Giving absurd answers to dumb questions from Yankees is a long and honored Southern pastime. All as politely as possible.

Unknown said...

My dad used to manage a tire store in Atlanta. A customer asked what Turtle Wax was used for.
Dad said "It's to polish your turtle". The man said "then I better get some" and bought a bottle of it. Did he have a shiny pet turtle that afternoon?

exiledonmainstreet said...

I was polled in October 2016 and told the pollster I was voting for Hillary, just for the hell of it.

"Wisconsin went red? How can that be? All the polls showed Clinton ahead!"

Trumpit said...

If you eat enough carrots, you will turn orange; no joke. The condition is called carotenosis.

My mother liked the joke about one day traveling to the sun. You don't have to worry about burning up if you travel at night. That makes sense.

She once had a boyfriend named Burt. She asked him if he knew who invented chemotherapy. His answer was memorable: Dr. Chemo.

stlcdr said...

"And a lot of people will probably say that cheese grows on trees. I used to tell people that buffalo wings were the tiny wings on the back of the Buffaloes that kept the flies off. Quite a few people believed me"

When someone states something with authority, there is a natural inclination to believe them. Tack on some qualifications, and that notion is reinforced. Group together people who have been informed the same thing, and it becomes more than just belief.

stlcdr said...

I didn't fully read the article, but you have to wonder; what's the point?

Specifically, if we take this at face value, who are these people? If, indeed, chocolate milk comes from brown cows, what do we do about those ignorants that don't know this? Should there be a public PSA?!

Ann Althouse said...

""Am I the Margaret Mead?"

Maybe you meant "their" not "the."

"Am I their Margaret Mead?"

There.

Anyway it's a good insight."

I meant "the." It's like the use of "the" in phrases like: "If you don't know who the mark is, you're the mark" and "I realized I was the fool."

Etienne said...

Can anyone point me to the study?

I want to see the study?

The study is not referenced.

non-referenced sources get a fake news marker.

It does seem sad though, that we steal the mothers milk from her babies and then make dog food out of her when she is no longer able to copulate.

urbane legend said...

Gospace said...
Another dumb question:
Do you have a gun in the house?

I know a man who believes the 2nd Amendment is one of the 10 Commandments, possibly the first one. Says he got asked this by his doctor and his answer was, "It's none of your business if I have guns or how many." No, long term analysis is not his superpower.

n.n said...
Condescension is a clear and progressive problem. It all starts with conception...

True enough. You can't be condescending unless you are conceived.

Bad Lieutenant said...

She once had a boyfriend named Burt. She asked him if he knew who invented chemotherapy. His answer was memorable: Dr. Chemo.

...

"What is a cube?"

"Why, a native of Cuba, of course."

--Mark Twain

Angel-Dyne said...

I didn't read the article or the comments because I couldn't be arsed to turn off ad-block to do so, but I bet the comments are full of "educated" shitlibs bewailing the embarrassing nation-wrecking ignorance of Those Other Americans.

The comments to those sorts of articles always are.

iowan2 said...

There is nothing wrong with ignorance. We all are. I have worked retail agriculture since 1977. Just yesterday I dissected a 5 leaf corn plant for a grower that is 9 years out of a college degree in agriculture. He had no idea how a corn plant grew, at that level. That knowledge, or lack of, has a direct impact on his lively hood. I think mostly it comes down to intellectual curiosity. My experience shows, that, is driven by parents.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Christy said...

Giving absurd answers to dumb questions from Yankees is a long and honored Southern pastime. All as politely as possible.

Bless their hearts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

iowan2 said...

There is nothing wrong with ignorance.

Thank you.

Iconochasm said...

"LOL is it really called the Lizardman Constant or are you just putting us on?"

That's the term I've seen to describe it. It's a reference to the surprisingly large number of people who will tell pollsters (or agree with pollsters) that Lizardmen secretly rule the world. There are only so many paranoid conspiracy theorists, after all. Some of them have to be just screwing with the pollster, or agreeing with a leading question even if it's insane, etc.

The term comes from the excellent blog Slate Star Codex.

JLScott said...

According to the WP writer, "the most surprising thing about this figure may actually be that it isn’t higher."

Pretty much what you'd expect from them.

MikeR said...

100%: The surprising number of American media that have absolutely no common sense.

Sam L. said...

Blogger stlcdr said...

"And a lot of people will probably say that cheese grows on trees. I used to tell people that buffalo wings were the tiny wings on the back of the Buffaloes that kept the flies off. Quite a few people believed me"

Reminds me of the Great Spaghetti Harvest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcLhRIU81EI

Bill Peschel said...

Speaking of surveys, I'm reminded of the 1 in 8 of millenials who say they dont know how to screw in a light bulb. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4338132/Milennials-don-t-know-change-light-bulb.html

Fritz said...

Of course brown cow make chocolate milk. It just starts white...

tcrosse said...

I'm reminded of the 1 in 8 of millenials who say they dont know how to screw in a light bulb.

No. They screw in a hot tub.

David-2 said...

I had a good friend in college who thought that lox came from a loxfish.

I don't think he drank chocolate milk, though.

Kirk Parker said...

Here's the Far Side cartoon mentioned above.