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Survey Shows Americans Who Want Military Action in Ukraine Are More Likely to Believe Ukraine Is in America

Whoops. I spelled "Murica" wrong.

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OK, so I’ll make no apologies for knowing a whole lot more about Ninja Turtles than I do about foreign relations, but I know that foreign countries don’t exist inside the contiguous 48 United States. As a recent survey shows, that’s somehow not a thing that everyone knows, even though the people surveyed live in the United States.

Political scientists from Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton, conducted a survey that had respondents click where on a map of the world they thought Ukraine was located. Then, they asked questions about what action the US should take.

Only one sixth of survey participants could correctly identify Ukraine’s location. The average respondent, however, had the location off by about 1,800 miles, which is about the distance from Chicago to Los Angeles. You know, in case you wanted a visual and know where both of those places are, which I’m less confident you do than I was when I woke up this morning.

I’m not even comforted by the fact that most of the respondents were reasonably close, because it looks like their knowledge went as far as “somewhere near Russia.” So, basically they’re able to identify the world’s largest country and then pick a random location where they know other countries border it.

Then, there are the people who picked somewhere in the United States as Ukraine’s location. I mean, sure, I always just pop over to Ukraine when I’m shopping, because their sales tax is better, and you can buy fire crackers there. It’s great that it’s so close by. Well done.

That’s all right, though. At least they didn’t place it somewhere in the Indian Ocean like a few other real humans actually did.

Even better: the farther someone’s guess was from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they thought we need to respond with military force. So, next time you have to listen to someone’s angry foreign policy views, try to take into account that they might actually just think America is being invaded, and help them out with some sixth-grade knowledge.

(via Washington Post, image via Peter Zillmann and Dan Van Winkle)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.