University of Leicester - Left behind

July 29, 2010

Highly educated people often assume their politics are left wing even when they are not. James Rockey, lecturer in economics at the University of Leicester, used the World Values Survey to compare 136,000 individuals' perceptions of their political leanings with their actual positions on substantive issues. He said one reason for the discrepancy might be that educated people did not notice their opinions drifting to the right because those of their peers were doing likewise. He found that men and rich people were more likely than other groups to think that they were right wing and to be measured as such.

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