The Ipsos MORI Perils of Perception survey gauges how wrong the citizens of a country are about certain key issues and South Africans are the most wrong about key issues in the world.

The survey asks citizens how they perceive certain issues. For instance, when asked about the murder rate only 7 percent of respondents thought the murder rate was down.

“We are often most incorrect on factors that are widely discussed in the media, such as the murder rate and the number of people who die from terrorist attacks each year,” says managing director of Ipsos Public Affairs, Bobby Duffy.

In South Africa specifically the murder rate was down 29 percent in 2017 but 85 percent of respondents in the Ipsos survey believed it was higher.

South Africans also seem to believe that more people have smartphones than actually do.

When asked how many people out of a group of 100 would own a smartphone the average gas from South African respondents was 80 while in reality the figure is closer to 36 out of 100.

This false belief continues into the online realm where South African respondents believed 73 out of 100 people would have a Facebook account. Meanwhile if you gathered a group of 100 people only 20 would have a Facebook account.

All tolled, South Africans have a very skewed perception of reality, the highest in the world according to Ipsos. The country with the most accurate perception of its people is Sweden.

“The intention here is to showcase our findings on the gap between perception and reality and to examine why people around the world are so wrong about basic facts about their population,” adds Duffy.

So while we might think that the murder rate is higher (it isn’t) that suicide rates are higher and that teenage pregnancy affects a large portion of the population we’re wrong. Things are not as bad as they seem.

You can find the full results of the Ipsos Perils of Perception 2017 survey here.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]