Does the Sun revolve around the Earth? A comparison between the general public and online survey respondents in basic scientific knowledge

TitleDoes the Sun revolve around the Earth? A comparison between the general public and online survey respondents in basic scientific knowledge
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCooper, EA, Farid, H
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume25
Issue2
Pagination146-153
Date PublishedFebruary 1, 2016
Publication Languageeng
AbstractWe conducted an online survey using a set of factual science questions that are commonly administered to assess fact-based scientific literacy. We report that the online population performed substantially better on this standard assessment than the traditional survey population. For example, it has been widely reported that 1 in 4 Americans does not know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, whereas among the online population, this ratio is reduced to 1 in 25. While new online platforms provide researchers with unprecedented ease of access to a large sample population for studying trends in public knowledge and attitudes, generalizing from online population samples to the US population at large poses a considerable challenge. We discuss the potential reasons for this discrepancy and the implications for conducting research online.
URLhttp://pus.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/25/2/146
DOI10.1177/0963662514554354

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