Bulgarians Exhibit High Skepticism Towards Data-Backed Information

Society | April 9, 2024, Tuesday // 12:25|  views

In a recent Eurobarometer survey focused on European citizens' perceptions of statistical data provided by Eurostat, Bulgaria emerged as the country with the highest level of skepticism towards information supplemented with statistical indicators. The survey revealed that a significant proportion of Bulgarians expressed diminished trust in information when accompanied by statistical data, highlighting a unique trend within the European Union.

According to the findings, nearly one in six Bulgarians (16%) indicated that the inclusion of statistical indicators in information significantly reduced their trust, while an additional 15% reported a slight decrease in trust. Remarkably, nearly one-third (31%) of respondents considered statistical arguments irrelevant to their trust in information, reflecting a widespread skepticism towards data-backed narratives.

The cumulative result of 31% mistrust in Bulgaria stands as the highest among EU member states, underscoring the significant divergence in attitudes towards data supplementation across different countries. In contrast, the average response across the EU indicated that approximately four in ten respondents (39%) trusted information more or slightly more when supported by statistical data.

Interestingly, the survey also explored Bulgarians' perceptions of Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency, revealing varying levels of trust among respondents. While 70% of Bulgarians expressed some degree of agreement with the credibility of Eurostat's data, indicating a relatively high level of trust compared to the EU average, disparities existed among member states. For instance, Romania ranked second in terms of trust in Eurostat data, with 77% of respondents expressing confidence, while France lagged behind with only 55%.

Moreover, the survey delved into the sources through which Bulgarians encountered references to Eurostat, with television emerging as the primary channel (60%). Despite the prevalence of television and social media (26%) as sources of information, statistical data are not frequently presented in-depth through these mediums, raising questions about the effectiveness of data dissemination strategies.

Notably, Bulgarians displayed a keen interest in verifying the credibility of their information sources, with 44% indicating that they always check the reliability of their sources. This finding suggests a proactive approach to information consumption among Bulgarian respondents, reflecting a broader trend towards information literacy and critical thinking.

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Tags: Bulgaria, survey, skepticism, data


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