Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Eastern Kentucky University Students’ Perceptions of the United State’s Place in the World

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Patriotism can be a healthy and beneficial attitude for citizens of any country. However, when citizens become so blinded by patriotic zeal that they lose touch with the reality of their country’s place in the world, patriotism can turn into nationalism and unilateralism. We believe that Americans have a distorted perception of the place of the United States in comparison to other countries. We have collected international rankings on 11 important dimensions (prisoners per capita, infant mortality rate, taxes on income and profits, homicide rate, gross domestic product per capita, population below poverty line, oil consumption, health care coverage, voter turnout, economic aid per person, military spending per person) from reputable sources such as the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency. We have also asked (N = 151) EKU students for their perceptions of the United States’ place in the rankings on these dimensions. On 10 of 11 questions, at least 1/3 of respondents got the answer wrong. We believe that it is important for American citizens to have an accurate view of our place in the world so that we can address our weaknesses and take pride in our strengths.

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Eastern Kentucky University Students’ Perceptions of the United State’s Place in the World

Patriotism can be a healthy and beneficial attitude for citizens of any country. However, when citizens become so blinded by patriotic zeal that they lose touch with the reality of their country’s place in the world, patriotism can turn into nationalism and unilateralism. We believe that Americans have a distorted perception of the place of the United States in comparison to other countries. We have collected international rankings on 11 important dimensions (prisoners per capita, infant mortality rate, taxes on income and profits, homicide rate, gross domestic product per capita, population below poverty line, oil consumption, health care coverage, voter turnout, economic aid per person, military spending per person) from reputable sources such as the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency. We have also asked (N = 151) EKU students for their perceptions of the United States’ place in the rankings on these dimensions. On 10 of 11 questions, at least 1/3 of respondents got the answer wrong. We believe that it is important for American citizens to have an accurate view of our place in the world so that we can address our weaknesses and take pride in our strengths.