This post on Pharyngula made me realize that most non-Americans really have no occasion to learn the names of U.S. states. As one commenter put it:
That map would be much more useful if it labeled the American states as well. The only ones I can pick off with real certainty are California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska. I have a good idea of where a lot of the others are generally, but others, I have no idea whereabouts in the US they are. Dakota? No idea. Virginia? Um, in the bottom/east 2/3rds.
It does make sense that non-Americans wouldn’t have learned the names of all the U.S. states, but with all the press about how bad Americans are at world geography, it got me to wondering:
Would non-Americans do better on a test of American geography?
Would Americans do better on a test of non-American geography?
Now we can find out. I’ve created ten-item geography quizzes on countries of the world and U.S. states. The states and countries were chosen at random. Americans will take the country quiz, and non-Americans will take the state quiz (after you finish, you’ll be given the option to take the other quiz if you’d like).
UPDATE: The survey is closed, but you can take a brief version of the test (and see the answers) here.
As usual, the study is brief, with just 11 quick questions (and an option to take 10 more), so it should only take a minute of your time. You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, January 24 to participate — or until we have 500 responses, whichever comes first. Then don’t forget to come back next Friday for our analysis of the results!