Friend Sense was an experiment conducted on Facebook. Through a series of questions, it measured the perception that people have of their friends and family on politics, religion, education, culture, and lifestyle.
Friend Sense addressed two empirical paradoxes that have puzzled political scientists for years. The first paradox is the widespread perception among Americans that the US is a politically polarized country, when in fact numerous surveys indicate that Americans are surprisingly difficult to classify into simple categories.
Many people, for example, see the country as divided into "red" states and "blue" states, but research shows that most Americans are neither consistently "liberal" nor "conservative."
In fact, among self-declared Republicans, 85% take a non-conservative stance on abortion, affirmative action, or government support for health insurance. Similar counter-intuitive results can be found among self-declared Democrats.
In this experiment, we asked users to answer a series of yes or no questions about their beliefs and attitudes. We also asked them how their Facebook friends would answer the same questions.
Friend Sense was created by the Economics and Social Systems group.
Thank you for your interest in this experiment. This experiment has been completed.
Polling is better than private presumption.Comment by Maynard S. Clark (June 24, 2009, 12:51 pm)
Polling the public pre-empts private presumptions.Comment by Maynard S. Clark (June 24, 2009, 12:52 pm)
What are the questions?Comment by susansanly (November 21, 2009, 1:50 pm)