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Research Center: Only Half Of Americans Can Find Syria On A Map

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Screen capture of the image leading to the quiz offered by Pew Research Center. (Credit: people-press.org)

Screen capture of the image leading to the quiz offered by Pew Research Center. (Credit: people-press.org)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — According to the results of an interactive quiz offered by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., only an estimated 50 percent of all Americans can correctly identify Syria on a map of the Middle East.

The quiz, which asked participants to properly identify an amalgamation of symbols, people and highlighted portions of maps, was put together to test general knowledge of current affairs.

“At the high end, nearly nine-in-ten Americans … are able to select the Star of David as the symbol of Judaism from a group of pictures of religious symbols,” a press release on the test results noted. “And when shown a picture of Twitter’s corporate logo, 79 [percent] correctly associate the logo with that company.”

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However, only half of the people who took the quiz could identify Syria as the highlighted nation on a map of the Middle East, the Center reports. Worse still, only 43 percent of participants knew which of four women presented in a photo montage was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and only 55 percent were able to correctly identify Attorney General Eric Holder’s position.

“On average, quiz takers correctly answered 8.5 of the 13 questions, a score of 65 [percent] correct when graded like a classroom test,” the press release noted, which would equate to a “D” grade in most classrooms.

Those analyzing the data from the completed quizzes stated that older participants fared better on questions of a political nature than their younger counterparts. However, test takers in younger age demographics were better at identifying images and signs, including the Twitter logo and the Euro symbol.

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Additionally, participants with college degrees performed better than those who did not pursue higher education across the board, especially on politically slanted questions.

There was little difference, though, between Republican, Democrat and Independent test results.

“Democrats (47 [percent]) were more likely than Republicans (37 [percent]) to recognize a photo of Elizabeth Warren, the new senator from Massachusetts,” the Center noted.”Other partisan differences were very small.”

The release added, “Overall, Republicans on average answered 8.7 items correctly, no different than Democrats (8.6) and independents (8.7).”

A reported 1,041 adults took the quiz between Jan. 18 and Jan. 24 of this year.

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