First Faculty Advisor
Politics; Economics; Affiliation; Aptitude
This research is based on a June 2010 Wall Street Journal article outlining a study conducted on the economic literacy of adults versus their political affiliation (Klein, 2010). Adults were surveyed on eight questions regarding simple economic knowledge and then asked their political affiliation. The study found that people who consider themselves very conservative on average answered 1.3 questions wrong, versus an average of 5.26 questions wrong for people who consider themselves very liberal. This same effect was to be measured in the classroom as to whether or not conservatives tended to fare better in economics classes than liberals. The hypothesis being tested, however, was that the right leaning politically affiliated (very conservative and conservative) would perform the same as the left leaning (very liberal and liberal). The reasons for this hypothesis are outlined below in the compilation of literature review. The variables known to affect success in the classroom have been thoroughly studied. However, none of these studies have analyzed the effect of political affiliation on success in the classroom. Leveraging the student body at Bryant University, the author examined the performance of undergraduate students in micro and macro economics courses, compared to their political affiliation. Data was collected and proved inconclusive; few relationships could be shown with statistical significance. However, the results give reason for further testing to explore if a relationship does exist, using a larger sample size.