Survey results expose DV students’ ignorance of politics and pop culture


Statistics show that Dougherty students are relatively ignorant about political affairs, but that this ignorance dissipates as students grow older.

Tribune editors interviewed 200 students, asking each Dougherty student the same two questions:

“Who is the current Vice President of the United States?” and “Can you name the three Kardashian sisters?”

The results were interesting, if not entirely shocking. 40% of sophomores could name the current Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden). In a disconcerting trend, freshmen only knew 38% of the time.

VP Single

True, knowing the second-in-command of our nation is not the most relevant or useful fact in a student’s daily life. And perhaps a certain amount of intimidation was present, as answering a question in front of two intense seniors is not the easiest thing in the world.

But, for a school that prides itself on academic excellence, it is unnerving to know that very little of the student body’s intelligence translates to general knowledge.

The juniors fared relatively better, with 76% getting the question right.  Seniors dominated the political question. 84% of seniors could name the current Vice President, but this statistic must be tempered with the understanding that all seniors are enrolled in a government class, with most taking a form of U.S. government.

In contrast, 52% of seniors could also name all three Kardashian sisters (Kim, Khloe and Kourtney). 58% of sophomores could name all three Kardashians, while only 33% of juniors and 35% of freshman could.

For the Vice President question, there was an average 13.75% difference between the number of males and the number of females who answered correctly. Most of the surveys showed men averaging 8-10% higher, though Junior females answered “Biden” 84% of the time, while junior males only knew 57% of the time.

Women tended to know the Kardashians more than men, and in no class did more men than women answer the question correctly. Women led the men by 22.8, 31.7, 37.4 and 24 percent, respectively, in correctly naming all three Kardashians.

The survey experiment revealed surprising nuances in our political and pop-culture knowledge. We learned Kourtney is the forgotten Kardashian (perhaps this relates more to the fact that her name is typically not spelled with a K?), and that each class has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Whether this growth in general knowledge is a result of further education is a question that can only be answered with further research.

Below are the statistical results, separated by class and gender.