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Wednesday 18 June 2003

And Another Thing

And another thing about those BBC polls: one of them asks people whether they see the United States as ‘arrogant’, ‘humble’, or ‘neither’.

The problem with this is that ‘arrogant’ and ‘humble’ are not opposites. The opposite of ‘arrogant’ is ‘deferential’, and the opposite of ‘humble’ is ‘proud’.

Americans are in fact very proud, and not very deferential, particularly as a group. But calling this ‘arrogance’, and setting a choice between humility and arrogance, is yet more survey bias, of a particularly blatant kind.

Posted by tino at 22:44 18.06.03
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