New National Survey Gauges Knowledge on Penn State Scandal
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research was hired by Los Angeles-based Documentary Filmmaker John Ziegler to gauge knowledge among adults nationwide regarding the Penn State University scandal and investigations. This memo summarizes key findings from a poll of 1,000 adults nationwide conducted August 9-12, 2012.
Just more than half of adults (55%) were able to correctly identify that Joe Paterno was not accused of molesting children.
- Respondents were asked to identify the following statement as true or false: “Joe Paterno was accused of molesting children.”
- True 28% - Unsure 15% - DK/Refused 2% - False 55%
More than two-thirds of adults nationwide (68%) misidentified the university that “fired a coach of a major men’s sports program in 2011 for sexually abusing young boys.”
- Respondents were asked the following open-ended question: “To your best knowledge, what school fired a coach of a major men’s sports program in 2011 for sexually abusing young boys?”
- Penn State 68% - Syracuse <1% - Other 4% - None 2% - DK/Refused 26%
- Less than one percent of adults were able to identify Syracuse as the correct answer to the question.
Overall, when asked a series of eight true/false statements, respondents generally failed to correctly identify if those statements were true or false.
- On average, only about one-in-five respondents (21%) were able to correctly identify whether the statement was true or false.
- Other than the first statement about Joe Paterno (highlighted above) the range of correct responses ranged from a high of 25% to a low of 9%.
Just over half of adults (52%) believe that the media has been treating Joe Paterno’s role in this scandal fairly and accurately while 48% either said no, the media had not been fair (30%) or were unsure (18%).
- Respondents were asked: “Considering everything you have seen, read, or heard about the scandal at Penn State, would you say that the media coverage of Joe Paterno’s role in this scandal has been fair and accurate?”
- Yes 52% - Unsure/DK/Refused 18% - No 30%
View full survey results and methodology at: http://www.wparesearch.com/penn-state/
About Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research
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