Pew Research Center studies a wide array of topics both in the U.S. and around the world, and every year we are struck by particular findings. Sometimes they mark a new milestone in public opinion; other times a sudden about-face. From an increase in Americans living without a spouse or partner to the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency, here are 17 findings that stood out to us in 2017.
This is a very helpful guide on collecting qualitative data through a semi-structured interview. It emphasizes the need for probe questions and on behaviors that you should adopt to put your subject at ease and get the best information possible.
Often the cause of a jam is evident, as in the case of a crash or construction. But the biggest threat to traffic flow is actually a slow vehicle. Drivers get caught in what’s called a slow-moving bottleneck, caused by a vehicle moving slower than the flow of traffic in one lane of a multi-lane road. Even though traffic never stops, a traffic jam forms as if an actual blockage had occurred.
A car behind the slow vehicle has to brake and slow down, forcing the car behind to brake, and so forth. The slowdown spreads upstream of the slow vehicle in a wave, called a shockwave. Now, the car behind the slow vehicle will try to get around it. In tight traffic, a desperate car trying to pass the slow vehicle will inevitably pass close in front of a car in an adjacent lane. That forces the driver in that lane to brake, propagating a shockwave in that lane as well. These slowdowns will propagate sideways through other lanes as cars try to evade the slowdown and then backwards as new slowdowns are created.
When we think about where we live, usually our ideas start with political boundaries—we’d say we live in a particular state, city, or town. Ask about a neighborhood, sports team loyalties, or regions not defined by borders, though, and it might get a little fuzzier. In densely settled places like the East Coast, sprawl can make it hard to draw lines around places, too. Where in New Jersey does the New York City region end and the Philadelphia region begin?
Since 2015, opinions about the federal government’s handling of several major issues have become less positive and much more partisan. Yet majorities continue to say the government should have a “major role” on such issues as defending against terrorism and helping lift people from poverty. And views about government’s role, unlike its performance, have changed only modestly over the past two years.
Public trust in government, meanwhile, remains close to a historic low. Just 18% say they trust the federal government to do the right thing “just about always” or “most of the time” – a figure that has changed very little for more than a decade.
And while more Republicans say they trust the government today than did so during the Obama administration, just 22% of Republicans and even fewer Democrats (15%) say they trust the government at least most of the time
Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.
The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. (Luckily, the researchers downloaded and stored the documents.)
Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history…