Here is a quick background on the survey. First, I created a ten question survey and posted it on my personal Facebook account. Since I know all the people (in real life) there was minimal chance of being trolled. Also, it was a static post, meaning that it was not sent to anyone in hopes of acquiring rigged or any desired responses. Furthermore, it was explicitly stated that all responses would be anonymous.
I was somewhat ecstatic to have received 26 participants. The breakdown of participants by age group: one 18-30-year old, 23 30-50-year olds and two 50-65-years old. This age grouping may not be ideal for diversity but it still contains useful “real” information that is worthy of inclusion in this writing. Thus, henceforth my survey results shall be seamlessly incorporated into my analysis and be referenced as “The DR Survey” (as applicable.)
When asked, “What would you consider to be your biggest influence on your political views?” 23% (6 votes) of survey respondents listed their family as the biggest influence while their friends and work environment tied with 4% of the vote. (Note: one jerk-o voted “other” and then specified by listing all of the above. Although accurate, this vote does not suffice to answer the question of “biggest” influence when followed by choices, buddy!). At this point, you may be curiously asking yourself, “If family, friends, and work got so little of the votes then what is the number one choice?” Drumroll please…the number one answer…tallying a resounding 77% of the vote (20) was: “Personal Research.” Aha! Let’s examine the effect of “Personal Research.” This overwhelming claim is embedded with deep human fallacy.
You see even as we grow into adulthood so much of our perception has already been shaped from the formative years of our youth and usually reinforced by the environment of our upbringing. Yet the choice is yours as your perception of the world is the world you live in. Generally, our friends will be comprised of like-minded individuals that often reinforce our opinions and beliefs. Thus, we become prone to the pitfall of personal biases that can lead us to think and act without reason and even against our own self-interests. An example of this, let us look at three (out of many) personal biases that commonly influence our information processing: anchoring, confirmation, and the bandwagon effect.