Archive for the ‘public opinion’ Category

Preference Towards Generic Prescription Drugs Shows A Four-to-One Lead Over Brand Name Medications

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Preference Towards Generic Prescription Drugs Shows A Four-to-One Lead Over Brand Name Medications (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

A new Harris Poll finds Americans favor generic prescription drugs over brand name products by a considerable margin. Eighty-one percent of those who buy prescription drugs say they would purchase generics more often than brand name drugs. A 42% subset goes so far as to assert that they would “always” choose to buy a generic drug. Older generations are especially likely to indicate that they would always go with generics (50% Matures, 44% Baby Boomers, and 46% Gen X vs. 33% Millennials).

Meanwhile, this means that only 19% of those who purchase prescription drugs would more often choose to fill their script with the brand name drug, and a mere 6% would “always” choose brand names. It is worth noting, however, that though majorities of adults both with and without children in their households favor generics, the minority preference for brand names is stronger among those with children in the household (24% with vs. 17% without).

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden

March 16, 2015 Comments off

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden
Source: Pew Research Center

It has been nearly two years since the first disclosures of government surveillance programs by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and Americans are still coming to terms with how they feel about the programs and how to live in light of them. The documents leaked by Snowden revealed an array of activities in dozens of intelligence programs that collected data from large American technology companies, as well as the bulk collection of phone “metadata” from telecommunications companies that officials say are important to protecting national security. The metadata includes information about who phone users call, when they call, and for how long. The documents further detail the collection of Web traffic around the globe, and efforts to break the security of mobile phones and Web infrastructure.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center asked American adults what they think of the programs, the way they are run and monitored, and whether they have altered their communication habits and online activities since learning about the details of the surveillance. The notable findings in this survey fall into two broad categories: 1) the ways people have personally responded in light of their awareness of the government surveillance programs and 2) their views about the way the programs are run and the people who should be targeted by government surveillance.

Does Partisanship Shape Attitudes toward Science and Public Policy? The Case for Ideology and Religion

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Does Partisanship Shape Attitudes toward Science and Public Policy? The Case for Ideology and Religion
Source: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Despite the apparent partisan divide over issues such as global warming and hydraulic fracturing, little is known about what shapes citizens’ willingness to accept scientific recommendations on political issues. We examine the extent to which Democrats, Republicans, and independents are likely to defer to scientific expertise in matters of policy. Our study draws on an October 2013 U.S. national survey of 2,000 respondents. We find that partisan differences exist: our data show that most Americans see science as relevant to policy, but that their willingness to defer to science in policy matters varies considerably across issues. While party, ideology, and religious beliefs clearly influence attitudes toward science, Republicans are not notably skeptical about accepting scientific recommendations. Rather, it seems that Democrats are particularly receptive to the advice and counsel of scientists, when compared to both independents and Republicans.

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence

March 12, 2015 Comments off

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence
Source: PLoS ONE

There is currently widespread public misunderstanding about the degree of scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, both in the US as well as internationally. Moreover, previous research has identified important associations between public perceptions of the scientific consensus, belief in climate change and support for climate policy. This paper extends this line of research by advancing and providing experimental evidence for a “gateway belief model” (GBM). Using national data (N = 1104) from a consensus-message experiment, we find that increasing public perceptions of the scientific consensus is significantly and causally associated with an increase in the belief that climate change is happening, human-caused and a worrisome threat. In turn, changes in these key beliefs are predictive of increased support for public action. In short, we find that perceived scientific agreement is an important gateway belief, ultimately influencing public responses to climate change.

Heartland Poll — Americans’ Local Experiences

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Americans’ Local Experiences
Source: Heartland Poll (Allstate)

Since 2009, the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll has focused on issues that are most important to Americans, including the national economy, personal finances, volunteerism and civic engagement and innovation at the local level. Polls continue to show significant frustration with national institutions during an uneven economic recovery. However, they also revealed Americans’ steadfast self-reliance and desire to see positive change at a local level that improves quality of life for themselves and their communities.

This twenty-second installment of the Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans’ experiences in their local area, including views on the local economy and their perceptions of local institutions like government, business, and non-profit organizations. What we find here is a clear preference for institutions to take chances with new ideas and solutions rather than relying on tried and tested, but unremarkable approaches. We also see a strong belief that local businesses are the best vehicle to provide job opportunities.

Americans are proud of their local area and they rate it considerably higher than the country in terms of the overall direction and their approval of political leadership. They also rate their local area highly in terms of overall quality of life, a place to start a business, and a place to raise a family. This positive community spirit extends throughout America’s big cities, suburbs, small cities, and rural areas, and also across demographic and socioeconomic subgroups.

Local News in a Digital Age

March 6, 2015 Comments off

Local News in a Digital Age
Source: Pew Research Center

Whether in a tech-savvy metropolis or a city where the town square is still the communication hub, local news matters deeply to the lives of residents. Across three disparate metro areas in the U.S., nearly nine-in-ten residents follow local news closely—and about half do so very closely, according to a new, in-depth Pew Research Center study, conducted in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. About two-thirds of the residents in each city discuss local news in person a few times a week or more.

Democrats Have More Positive Image, But GOP Runs Even or Ahead on Key Issues

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Democrats Have More Positive Image, But GOP Runs Even or Ahead on Key Issues
Source: Pew Research Center

This week’s political battles over immigration, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and the Keystone XL pipeline have been waged by opposing parties that possess starkly different strengths and weaknesses.

Majorities say the Democratic Party is open and tolerant, cares about the middle class and is not “too extreme.” By contrast, most Americans see the GOP lacking in tolerance and empathy for the middle class, and half view it as too extreme.

Nonetheless, the Republicans more than hold their own with the Democrats in views of which party can better handle major issues. The Republican Party runs even on the economy and immigration and holds double-digit leads over the Democrats on terrorism, foreign policy and taxes.


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