AP Research: Final Results!

Apr 07, 2019


As for demographics, my survey data overwhelmingly skewed to California residents. This is primarily because I disseminated it across my circles and my friends circles, and I live in California. This is also a significant shortcoming in my research — ideally, more locations represented in order to increase statistical significance, as people from California may hold different views from the rest of the country. However, I did have a few other states represented. There was a very slight female majority in my survey responses. The majority of my survey respondents were also Asian or Caucasian. The vast majority of my survey respondents were 16 to 18, although I had a few respondents in their mid-thirties. I couldn’t find a significant difference when comparing gender, race, or location. I also did not find a significant difference between the data of different age groups, except for the amount of colloquial language.

Figure 1 is presented above. It shows the state each resident resides in.


Figure 2 is directly above. It shows the breakdowns of the racial backgrounds of each participant.


Attention to News Media

Most of my survey respondents read the news at least a few times weekly. No survey respondent answered that they didn’t read the news at all weekly. The overwhelming majority spent 20 minutes or less on the news when they read or listened to it, and most of my survey respondents obtained their news from the New York Times, NPR, or CNN. A majority of respondents used social media for their news to some extent. In fact, one of the respondents even answered, “snapchat story news sources” with an emoticon depicting a crying face, and another responded “im somewhat ashamed to say instagram and buzzfeed.” Figures 3, 4, and 5 are presented below to show the breakdown and time given to the news media that people consume.



Figure 3 is above, and it showcases the frequency of how much each respondent reads or listens to the news per week.

Figure 4 is below, and it depicts the news sources people gain their information from.

Figure 5 is below, and it shows that an overwhelming majority of the respondents used social media for their news to at least some extent.

Characterization Responses

The primary themes that emerged after my respondents characterized North Korea and the Kim Jong-Un regime are listed below. These were helpful as they confirmed the results that Minhee Bang found in the computational study. Furthermore, they also provided a basis for me to analyze the change in respondents attitudes. There were some interesting trends that emerged from this data. The respondents were asked to rate the likelihood on which they thought the United States would go to war with North Korea on a scale from “Highly Likely, Probable, Possible, Slim, Very Slim, to Impossible”. Most of the respondents who answered that war was “Probable” also seemed to characterize the regime as volatile and unstable, while those who answered “Impossible” primarily characterized the regime as puppetlike, with absolute authoritarianism. Similarly, respondents had very similar reactions and characterizations.


Fig. 6 is presented above, and it showcases the themes, the words that were grouped together by meaning, a definition of each theme, and the number of times each response fulfilled one of the themes. Each response fit into at least one theme, and some fit two.


This was crucial as it provided initial views, showed the impact of media, and was a way that could combine qualitative methods — such a survey — with some replicability by means of definitions, objective word groupings, and a counting scheme. Furthermore, this also confirmed the themes that were present in Binnarae Oh’s corpus analysis.


Views After Reading the Article

Most of the respondents answered that this article had no impact on their views. However, a significant portion of the respondents (almost a third) responded that their views changed, and roughly another third answered that their views were reinforced.

Fig. 7 is presented above.


As previously discussed, after my pilot study I decided to ask which views specifically they reinforced or changed as to gain more information by which to answer my question. This revealed several new insights. Most of the responses that answered that their views were reinforced also argued that it isn’t in our interests to view political enemies as cut into narrow boxes, and most of the people’s views whose views were reinforced already agreed with the article or portions of its reasoning. One respondent answered that, “It isn’t in our interest to demote enemies to uneducated buffoons. People act in their best interest, in ways that might not seem correct to us.” They said this as a way to describe the foreign policy actions of Kim Jong-Un, and how they agreed with the article, as to not cast the North Korean regime as crazy, unstable, or uneducated. Similarly, another respondent answered, “Honestly, the US has a big history of thinking it’s smarter than its opponents, or its opponents are just dumb. I feel like America is kinda conceited like how people are like “America’s the best country in the world”, even though America has a bloody history and plenty of mistakes.” Although this was significantly longer, it showcases a similar line of thinking. This shows that the views that were reinforced were the ones that argued against casting foreign policy adversaries into certain stereotypes, and to create a wider, more thoughtful analysis that seeks to understand the rationale behind actions rather than simply just viewing them as crazy.


For the people who answered that the article changed their views, I decided to look at what views specifically were changed. One respondent, who answered, “It changed my view on the characteristics of the groups (like terrorists or “ruthless” political leaders) that we as Americans tend to collectively hate. I realized that they are more than just “madmen” – they are calculating, power-hungry, rational (to an extent in terms of strategy) people who will do whatever they can to achieve their political and military goals,” summed up the majority of the responses. People whose views were changed answered that they didn’t realize how much their views were shaped by the media and also realized how much those characteristics were internalized to them. Similarly, another respondent answered that they “realized that my view of Kim Jong-un has been pretty heavily influenced and cultivated by American media,” which showed how the article brought attention to the stereotypes that most media has drawn from. However, they seemed to not have a clear idea of their ideal foreign policy after reading the article. For example, one respondent who answered that their views changed also responded “Still don’t think I know enough to say” when asked about what the United States’ foreign policy should be towards North Korea.


For the people whose views had no change, they answered that the best foreign policy or their ideal foreign policy that the United States should take towards North Korea is one of increasing communication. Respondents whose views had no change answered that we should “open up more in terms of markets and tourism” and have a “cautious” foreign policy.

One Reply to “AP Research: Final Results!”

  1. Krip R. says:

    Love the cleanliness of your graphs and charts. Your data collection process is very thorough in determining viewpoints for your participants.

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