Washington University’s Dr. Milton Stuckey and his team conducted the study, and while Dr. Stuckey said he “didn’t have astronomical hopes for the study” when he began, he was still “a little taken aback by the results, to be quite honest.”
Dr. Stuckey’s study found “one response that stated the person thought England was a city in London, which, while mildly amusing, is actually more sad than anything else.”
“A good number of respondents thought that Hong Kong was still a British territory,” Stuckey’s assistant, Burt Phillips said. “They clearly never saw the rickshaw episode of ‘Seinfeld.’ Classic.”
Stuckey said, “We aren’t really sure who to blame for the results of this study. We found no data to suggest that this information isn’t being taught in schools, and test results for geography have remained static for more than 15 years. We’re at a loss, to be quite honest.”
The respondents did know about “Harry Potter,” and about the royal couple, but it seems their knowledge of anything else involving Great Britain or Northern Ireland was non-existent. “Oh, and Downton Abbey,” Phillips said. “They seemed very familiar with that program.”
Perhaps most indicative of how pervasive pop culture really is in American society, a full 19% of the people in the study were more familiar with a map of the fictional continent of Westeros, featured in the HBO television series, “A Game of Thrones,” based on the book series by George R.R. Martin, than they were with a map of The United Kingdom.
“I suppose the people at HBO will find that positive, but it doesn’t help the worldview of the American intellect,” Stuckey said.