A recent survey showed that 30% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats said they would support bombing Agrabah. For those of you who haven’t watched Disney’s Aladdin recently, Agrabah is the fictional city in which the movie takes place.
While it’s disheartening to realize the level of ignorance about geography and culture a question like this reveals, people’s responses to the question can reveal a lot about their biases. As Daniel Bier writes for the Foundation for Economic Education:
“Obviously, nobody who answered the poll had any clue what or where Agrabah was, and half of them had the good sense to admit that. But the people who offered an opinion were basing it on something.
The question implied to voters that a) Agrabah exists, b) it’s probably a Muslim country in the Middle East, and c) somebody had suggested that we bomb it. That is enough for about a quarter of Americans to conclude that blowing it up is probably a good idea.
The good news is that, no matter how popular it is, the United States can’t actually bomb Agrabah, because it is safely in Imaginationland. The bad news is that there are a lot of very real countries, with a lot of very real people living in them, that the US military can bomb at will.”
You can check out the full article here.
Check out our video series with Bryan Caplan to learn even more about the way biases affect people’s thinking: