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The Zogby International/Forbes ASAP Poll
October 2000

compiled by
Robert A. Freitas Jr.

© Copyright 2001-2002, Robert A. Freitas Jr.
All rights reserved.

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The Forbes ASAP "What Is True?" Poll
Edited by Andrew Freiburghouse
Poll conducted by Zogby International
October 2000

John Zogby: "It seemed to us that new technologies present serious challenges to what people perceive as real, and so we decided to ask about them. This poll pointed out the impact new technologies might have on the authenticity of our lives. For example, four out of five are unlikely to use virtual sex partners, even if those partners look the "way you want and feel human" and have "no risk of disease or emotional attachments." And while 55% would be likely to engage in virtual travel, by a ratio of 4 to 1 they feel someone who did so should be labeled as less authentic. People seem to think that technology has the power to diminish authenticity."

1,021 adult Americans were surveyed for this poll and consisted of 35% Democrats, 38% Republicans, 22% Independents, and 5% other; 88% Caucasian, 4.6% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 1.6% Hispanic, and 4% other; and 40% male, 60% female.

Poll Questions and Responses:

(1) How likely would you be to use microscopic computers floating through your body that would detect disease or injury immediately?

Very Likely 33.2%
Somewhat Unlikely 8.5%
Very Unlikely 28.6%

(2) How likely would you be to use virtual travel, whereby you could visit any location in the world and experience tastes, smells, and sounds without the hassles of traveling?

Very Likely 28.9%
Somewhat Likely 26.1%
Very Unlikely 35.0%

39.1% of married people chose Very Unlikely.

(3) How likely would you be to use virtual food, whereby you could experience eating anything you want and not worry about guilt or calories?

Very Likely 30.1%
Somewhat Likely 19.0%
Very Unlikely 40.5%

38.3% of women would give it a try.

(4) How likely would you be to install knowledge or learning chips into your brain that would allow you to learn anything immediately?

Very Likely 16.4%
Somewhat Likely 19.5%
Very Unlikely 52.0%

31.9% of 18- to 24-year-olds chose Very Likely.

(5) How likely would you be to have virtual sex partners who would look the way you want, and act and feel human, and there would be no risk of disease or emotional attachment?

Very Likely 8.7%
Very Unlikely 69.6%

7.6% of senior citizens answered "Bring it on!"

(6) How likely would you be to download your brain onto a computer disk so that you could become pure energy and virtually live forever?

Very Likely 5.2%
Very Unlikely 80.0%

15.7% of non-high school graduates would do it, compared to just 3.8% of college graduates; 88.2% of the 65+ crowd said they wouldn't even think about it.

Excerpted from: John Zogby, "Polls Show...," Forbes ASAP, 2 October 2000, pp. 217-222.
The complete report is available from Zogby International as "The Authenticity Report 2000"


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