More Americans Understand Mental Illness; Climate Change, Vaccines or the Big Bang…Not So Much

08klass-articleinlineI think my regular readers will find this new poll as interesting as I do! In the table below check out the results of a recent AP survey looking into the confidence Americans have in various concepts which are considered “accepted science.” And while I’m worried by the findings that 51% of those polled don’t think our world started with a Big Bang, and only 53% have confidence in vaccine effectiveness and safety, I find other numbers surprising and even encouraging. For example, 61%, nearly 2/3, are either very or fairly confident that the earth is warming due to human activities. Okay, better than I might have expected. But best of all… 71% say they are extremely or very confident that “a mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain”.  Another 12% are somewhat confident of this fact, adding up to a whopping 92% who lean favorably towards a scientific understanding of mental disorders. When one considers how much stigma has been driven by an absence of this understanding, we have to be encouraged that things are indeed changing. But then, I am an optimist by nature. What are your thoughts on these questions and answers?

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