Posts tagged with "Pew Research"

The spirits are willing: Business is up 140% for psychics during the pandemic

June 1, 2020

With a pandemic, a lockdown, painful personal losses, a spiraling economy, fewer jobs, stress on relationships, and literally nowhere to go, who can blame Americans for wanting to know what will happen in the “foreseeable future”?

Since the beginning of March, astrologers, spiritual guides, tarot card readers, and psychics have seen an uptick in business, Salon reports.

. According to Google search trends, Google searches for “psychic” jumped to a one-year high during the week of March 8—when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began issuing some guidance on COVID-19.

Business review and aggregator site Yelp posted an Economic Impact Report that noted that its “Supernatural Readings” business category was up 140%, as more Americans turned to tarot card readers, mediums and psychics.

Leslie Hale has been offering astrology readings since the late 1990s. She joined Keen.com, an online “spiritual advisor network” in 2001, and told Salon that currently her business is up about 30%. (Likewise, Keen.com told Salon they are experiencing a vast increase in traffic as of late.) Hale said usually she had from ten to 15 calls a day, but during the pandemic it’s been anywhere between 20 and 30. She charges $3.53 a minute.

“There has never been a time like this,” Hale told Salon of her 21-year astrologer career. “I think everybody wants to know if their life is going to go on, and if there’s anything in the future they have to look forward to.”

It makes sense that average people are seeking clarity in uncertain times.. According to Pew Research data from 2018, an estimated 60% of  American adults accept at least one “New Age belief,” a list that includes psychics.

While in the past, spiritualism meant looking for connection with the dead, today it is more about seeking assurance. Alicia Butler, a 38-year-old freelance writer, usually turns to tarot card readings for comfort. She told Salon during the pandemic they’ve been especially helpful.

“It’s definitely a source of comfort right now,” Butler, who is quarantining with her parents, told Salon. “If things don’t reopen and we don’t have a vaccine or something, am I going to just be 13 again and living with my parents, and not growing emotionally or professionally ever again?”

“I mean, it’s basically somebody telling you that everything’s gonna be okay,” Butler added.

Nathalie Theodore, JD, LCSW, a psychotherapist in Chicago, told Salon it makes sense that some would turn to psychics or tarot card readers during this time.

“Uncertainty is something that many of us struggle with and, for some, it can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety,” Theodore said. “Fear of the unknown can send us into a downward spiral of negative thinking and imagining worst case scenarios.”

Theodore added that one of the hardest parts of this pandemic is not knowing how long it will last or what our lives will look like once it ends.

Hale, the psychic, said the number one question she gets from clients is when they will find a romantic partner.

“The biggest concern of most of the people who call me is still their relationship,” Hale said. “People want to know, ‘when I am going to be able to go out and meet someone special again?'”

She believes that inquiry is tied to loneliness.

“During this time of social isolation, I think people are lonely . . . . of course we have technology but that’s not the same thing as sitting across the table from someone,” Hale said.

Sara Kohl, who does “remote viewing” for Keen.com, said many people are wondering about their job security, too. “I’ve had a lot of my clients get furloughed,” Kohl said. “And so they’re calling… wondering if they’re going to be going back to work, and when.”

Fortuitously, Kohl is one of those rare people who is unconcerned about job security right now.  “It’s been the busiest I’ve ever seen,” she said. “People are calling in droves.”

Research contact: @Salon

Gray area: Getting a message to grandma during the COVID-19 lockdown

April 20, 2020

Families who are separated during the novel coronavirus pandemic are being forced to find  new ways to communicate—especially with the elderly members of the clan,  who may not even know have heard of Facetime, Skype, or Zoom.

CNN tells the story of 94-four-year old Jane Feld, who used to spend her time playing tennis, attending concerts with friends, and having family members over for dinner at her house in Syracuse, New York. Now she is alone, sheltering in place.

For Feld, who is hard of hearing, video chatting with her grandchildren or other family members poses a challenge. She has a caption-call phone, but the live captions don’t always work well. Therefore, to keep in touch during this time, she mostly uses email.

“I’m not too comfortable with tech stuff,” Feld told CNN Business in an email interview. “Email has definitely helped me keep track of offspring and grands. Hours on the phone wear me out, but it’s easy to roll with email. Just let me know you’re OK and we’ll get together as soon as possible. With a virtual hug and kiss.”

She is not alone. Only 26% of Internet users 65 years and older feel “very confident” when using computers, smartphones or other electronics to do what they need to do online, according to a 2015 study from Pew Research. More than that, it’s no perfect substitute for the real-life interactions they’ve long been accustomed to.

“Of course, it’s not the same as in person,” Meredith Doubleday, Feld’s granddaughter, told the cable news outlet. “It definitely doesn’t replace that, but it sure helps. I’m very grateful that we can still email. She keeps reminding me that in high school she was an excellent typist.”

Abby Godard has regular virtual dance parties over Apple’s FaceTime video calling feature with her 83-year-old grandmother Yvonne Simon Perotti, who lives about 15 minutes away from her in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Godard and her extended family also get together weekly on Zoom, including with her grandmother and 78-year-old grandfather Charlie Perotti.

The Perottis consider themselves quite tech adept for their ages and have figured out how to use services like Zoom on their own. “In our neighborhood, we have a book club. So, we have a virtual book club meeting with Zoom, which is kind of cool,” said Charlie Perotti.

Other families are turning to gadgets such as smart picture frames to communicate. Ann Fraser bought a ViewClix picture frame in 2018 for her 92-year-old mother Lorraine Tangney so they could keep in touch when Fraser and her husband moved to Florida. The smart picture frame, which is designed for seniors and doesn’t require them to learn new technology, lets multiple family members share photos, conduct live video calls, and post virtual sticky notes with messages to their loved one.

In normal times, her family members upload pictures of themselves and their travels to the frame. But during the pandemic, her relatives are relying on the video chatting function to keep in contact with Tangney, who is in an assisted living facility in Massachusetts. Her family set up the picture frame in front of her favorite chair. When a ViewClix video call comes in, it’s set to automatically connect so Tangney doesn’t have to get up to answer it.

“I called her the other day on it, and the nurse was in her room, so she was able to be like ‘Oh look someone’s calling you on it.’ We had a whole conversation on it, she was so excited,” Leah Briscoe, her granddaughter, told CNN. “We tried to do the tablet thing with her, and it wasn’t successful. She can’t really talk on the phone anymore, so we needed to get a little bit more creative with how we were going to keep in touch with her.” Fraser called the frame a “priceless” way of communicating with her. The 10.1-inch frame costs $199,; the 15.6-inch version sells for $299.

ViewClix said it’s seen a 201% jump in video calls from February to March. Over a five-day period in mid-March, the company said it sold out of several months of stock of both its frame options. Skylight ($159), another digital frame aimed at seniors, said it has seen a similar increase in usage: the number of video messages sent to frames has tripled compared to last month, and early April sales are three times higher than a month ago.

But for other seniors, new devices are just too difficult to figure out. Alexandra DeLessio and her family bought her 88-year-old grandmother Rosemary Adams a Facebook Portal smart speaker, which start at $129, and walked her through how to operate it, even practicing it with her. But Adams has never used it on her own because she can’t remember how.

Adams now lives in an assisted living facility, and no visitors are allowed to come inside due to the pandemic. So her family has come up with a safe, in-person way to interact: Adams comes out onto her balcony, and DeLessio, her parents and sister shout to her from outside.

Her grandmother shouts back.

Research contact: @CNN

Reminder: August 12 is ‘National Middle Child Day’

August 12, 2018

If you didn’t know that National Middle Child Day is on August 12, chances are that the child who is second in birth order among your progeny will not be surprised. In fact, in families of five and more, it is not just folklore that the middle children tend to “slip between the cracks”—because attention continually is demanded by and directed to the oldest and youngest siblings in the household.

However, in recent years, there have been fewer children who are betwixt and between. In fact, researchers recently have pondered whether middle children have become an “endangered species,” according to a report by New York Magazine. Demographics show that, in the past few decades, nearly two-thirds of women have reacted to time and money crunches by having fewer offspring. Most women now have just one or two children—i.e., an oldest, a youngest, but no middle.

Yet new data on the number of children that Americans perceive as “ideal”—at least in theory, if not in practice—suggest that middle-child families could be making a comeback: Roughly four-in-ten U.S. adults (41%) think families of three or more children are ideal, a share rivaling that of around two decades ago, according to findings of a Gallup poll released on July 6.

When it comes to the number of children that U.S. women actually are having during their lifetime, it’s still much more common for women at the end of their childbearing years to have had one or two kids, rather than three or more, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In 2016, about six-in-ten U.S. mothers ages 40 to 44 (62%) had given birth to one or two children, while just 38% had three or more. That’s roughly the inverse of 1976, when about two-thirds of mothers in this age range (65%) had three or more kids and 35% had one or two.

A sharp decrease in the share of mothers with four or more children has played a role in the long-term decline in larger families, according to the Census Bureau data. But, despite the dramatic decline of the four-child-plus family over the past few decades, the share of Americans who dream of four or more children as the ideal number is actually ticking upward.

In 2007, 9% of Americans said the ideal number of children is four or more, according to Gallup. That share grew following the Great Recession and now stands at 15%. In fact, since 2007, the increase in the average number of children Americans see as ideal is mainly due to a rise in the share of adults who think four or more kids is the ideal family size.

Among the factors affecting birth numbers is education: On average, the more education a mother has, the fewer children she will have in her lifetime, as previous Pew Research Center reports have shown. In combined data for 2014 and 2016, 46% of mothers ages 40 to 44 with a high school diploma or less had given birth to three or more children. By comparison, among mothers in the same age group with a postgraduate degree, 28% had given birth to three or more kids.

But the educational “gap” in fertility has somewhat narrowed in the past two decades, driven by declining childlessness and a rise in larger families among highly educated moms. The share of mothers ages 40 to 44 with at least a master’s degree and three or more children increased from two decades ago, as the share with just one child declined.

According to previous research by the Center, highly educated women are the only group with a declining share of one-child families and a rise in families of three or more.

When it comes to ideal family size, highly educated adults are again less likely to say having three or more children is ideal, according to Gallup. Among those with a postgraduate degree, 36% believe three or more kids are ideal, compared with 46% of those with no college education. However, since 2011, the share of Americans who see families of three or more children as ideal has risen among all levels of education.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org

‘Daddy time’ is not as limited as it used to be

January 9, 2018

Today, U.S. fathers are giving their children nearly three times more attention than they did a half-century ago: seven hours a week now, compared to 2.5 hours a week in 1965. However, most (63%) of dads still say they are spending too little time with the kids, based on results of a Pew Research survey released on January 8.

A much smaller share (36%) say they spend the right amount of time with their progeny, the survey of 4,573 American adults nationwide determined.

Moms, by comparison, still do “the heavy lifting” when it comes to childcare and are more likely than dads to say they are satisfied with the amount of time they spend with their kids. About half (53%) say this, while only 35% say they spend too little time with their kids, according to the research results.

Fathers without a bachelor’s degree are particularly likely to say they spend too little time with their kids. About 70% of dads with some college or less education say this is the case, compared with half of dads with at least a bachelor’s degree–perhaps because those with a degree are spending more time at work.

Education is not a factor when it comes to the share of mothers who say they spend too little time with their children, but employment status is: 43% of full-time working moms say they don’t spend enough time with their kids, compared with 28% of moms who work part-time or who are not employed.

For both dads and moms who say they spend too little time with their kids, work obligations are cited most often as the main reason: 62% of dads and 54% of moms indicate that this is the case.

A major exception? A sizable share of fathers (20%) say that the main reason they spend too little time with their children is that they don’t live with them full-time.

These findings come as about one-in-four fathers of children 17 or younger (24%) are living apart from at least one of their children, and 17% are living apart from all of them, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the National Survey of Family Growth.

Interestingly enough, about  half of black fathers (47%) are living apart from at least one of their children age 17 or younger, and 36% are living apart from all of their children. Far lower shares of Hispanic (26%) and white (17%) fathers are living apart from one or more of their children.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org

America’s Muslim population is growing

January 5, 2018

Recent political debates over Muslim immigration have prompted questions about just how many Muslims actually live in America. The U.S. Census does not ask about religion, but—based on results of its own survey and demographic study, released on January 3—Pew Research Center estimates that, in 2017, there were about 3.45 million Muslims living nationwide, making up about 1.1% of the total U.S. population.

What’s more, the Muslim population is growing faster than are the numbers of some other “minority” religions. For example, while there are currently not as many Muslims in America as there are people who identity as Jewish (1.9% of the population), Pew projects that, by 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians.

And by 2050, the researchers anticipate that America’s Muslim population will reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the nation’s total population—nearly twice the share of today.

Like other demographic groups, Muslims tend to settle near others of the same religious and cultural preferences. Some metro areas, such as Washington, D.C., have sizable Muslim communities. Likewise, certain states, such as New Jersey, are home to two or three times as many Muslim adults per capita as the national average.

When Pew first conducted a study of Muslim Americans in 2007, the pollsters estimated that there were 2.35 million Muslims of all ages (including 1.5 million adults) nationwide. By 2011, the number of Muslims had increased to 2.75 million (including 1.8 million adults). Since then, the Muslim population has continued to grow at a rate of roughly 100,000 per year, driven both by higher fertility rates among Muslim Americans as well as the continued migration of Muslims to the U.S.

Religious conversions haven’t had a large impact on the size of the U.S. Muslim population, largely because about as many Americans convert to Islam as leave the faith. Indeed, while about 20% of  American Muslim adults were raised in a different faith tradition and converted to Islam, a similar share of Americans were raised Muslim and now no longer identify with the faith.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org.

Is your phone a ‘ringer,’ or are you the problem?

December 19, 2017

In America our phones are smart, but those of us who carry an Apple, a Samsung, an LG, or a Jitterbug—maybe not so much.

One in three (31 percent) of U.S. smartphone owners who responded to a recent poll has broken his or her device in the past year. And iff you’ve broken more than one, you’re not alone!

In fact, nearly one in four (22 percent) of American smartphone owners has broken three or more devices during the past 12 months, according to findings released on December 18 by Google Surveys from an online poll of 1,000 U.S. adults.

Conducted on behalf of Wisconsin-based Batteries Plus Bulbs, which does phone repairs, the poll found that 59% of respondents have refrained from fixing a damaged phone because of high costs, waiting times, lack of a vendor, or simple laziness.

U.S. consumers now spend an average of five hours a day on mobile devices, according to Pew Research so it’s no wonder that 60% of those polled have at some time been compelled to fix their smartphone because they couldn’t see the screen. One in every seven (14%) respondents claimed that cracking their phone screen ruined their day.

Having a charged phone also is extremely important—so essential, respondents asserted, that:

  • 44% would give up food delivery services for one year in order to always have a fully charged phone;
  • 27% would give up alcoholic beverages;
  • 19% would give up streaming services; and
  • 10% would give up holiday celebrations, including gifts and parties.

But what if there were an easy fix? For example, if your phone battery were draining too quickly, what if you could simply replace that battery (which costs less than $100) and leave it as good as new?

Most respondents did not have a clue about this option. The survey found that:

  • 79% have never replaced their phone batteries;
  • 24% did not know a battery could be replaced; and
  • 19% frequently upgrade their phone versus replacing their phone battery

“From this survey, it’s evident that while the service of phone repair is valued by many Americans, many specific offerings, such as battery replacement, are under-utilized,” said Shawn Budiac, vice president of Category Management at Batteries Plus Bulbs. “By educating consumers on the ease, efficiency and breadth of repair services, Batteries Plus Bulbs can aid more customers, saving them thousands in new phone costs annually.”

Research contact: Batteries+Bulbs (1-800-677-8278)

Germany takes a step back from Trump’s USA

December 13, 2017

On December 5 at the Berlin Policy Forum, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told global foreign policy experts that his country’s relationship with the United States “will never be the same” under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump—whom he accused of leading Europe on the path toward nuclear war.

Indeed, according to a report by Newsweek magazine, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s second-in-command castigated Trump’s nationalistic vision of international relations; and announced that Germany would pursue its own agenda and no longer operate under the shadow of its ally in the White House.

Now, Pew Research, together with the German firm, Körber-Stiftung, has released the results of polls that find “the future of U.S.-German relations is unclear.”

People in the two countries differ in their views of the bilateral relationship, according to the parallel surveys. Among the five key findings of the surveys are the following:

  1. Americans and Germans have very different opinions about whether the current relationship between the two countries is good or bad. Almost seven-in-ten Americans (68%) say relations between the U.S. and Germany are good, while only 22% say they are bad. Conversely, a majority of Germans (56%) say that relations with America are at least somewhat bad, with only 42% saying they are positive.
  2. Americans and Germans don’t agree when people in each country are asked which nations are their first and second most-important partners. Combining both first and second mentions, Americans name Great Britain more than any other country (31%), followed by China (24%), Germany (12%), Israel (12%) and Canada (10%). In Germany, France gathers the most votes as either first or second most-important partner (63%), followed by the USA (43%). Lagging far behind in the eyes of Germans are Russia (11%), China (7%) and Great Britain (6%).
  3. People in the two countries have alternative views about what the levels of national defense spending should be in Europe. A plurality of Americans (45%) say European allies should increase their defense spending, while only  32% of Germans say the same about their own defense budget. By comparison,, roughly half of Germans (51%) say their country should maintain its current military budget, and 13% want to spend less on their nation’s defense.
  4. Americans and Germans don’t hold the same opinions about most important aspect of the U.S.-German relationship. Roughly one- third of Americans say that the most important aspects of the relationship – from a list of three options – are security and defense ties (34%) and economic and trade ties (33%). Most one-third saying  that democratic values are the keystone of the c relationship (35%).
  5. Americans are more likely than their German counterparts to say other countries do too little in global affairs  Roughly two-thirds of Americans say China (66%) and Russia (65%) do too little to help solve global problems. About one-half say the same about the United Nations, and 45% of Americans hold this view about the European Union. However, Americans are split on whether Germany is doing too little (39%) or the right amount (40%). Germans, on the other hand, have more mixed views. While pluralities in Germany say the UN, Russia and China are doing too little, 46% say the EU is doing enough. Germans are divided on whether the U.S. is doing too little (39%) or too much (39%) to help solve global problems.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org

Tattoo You?

November 14, 2017

Nearly 40% of Americans born after 1980 have a tattoo—and 25% have a piercing some place other than an earlobe, Pew Research found in a recent study.

Indeed, according to Statista Survey, which also has looked at the body art phenomenon, only 39% of Americans are on the non-inked side of the fence.

Of those who say they have not gotten a tattoo yet, but are considering one, Statista says that the most common reason for hesitating is apprehension about the pain involved, followed by another anxiety— fear of falling out of love with the tattoo as they age.

At the top of the list of reasons for getting one was “to express my style and opinion” (38%). In second place was the similar, “to express my personal opinion” (37%). Making up the top three, family makes its way into the picture, with 34% saying their tattoo pays tribute to their children.

What’s more,  some want an even more radical body marking, using a number of, ahem, “cutting-edge” ways to express themselves, the Pew researchers report—including branding, scarification (scratching, etching or cutting to produce a design in the skin), or subdural implants (placing objects under the skin for ornamentation).

Nearly every state has some type of body art law, but regulations vary widely. Most states do agree on one thing: age limits. At least 45 states prohibit minors from getting tattoos, and 38 states prohibit body piercing and tattooing minors without parental permission, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The sharp increase in Hepatitis C cases over the last few years has intensified states’ concern about sterile and sanitized needles and equipment and associated health and safety training.

The American Red Cross requires someone who has had a tattoo to wait one year to donate blood if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities — Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. No waiting period is required if the tattoo was applied in a state that requires tattoo shops to use sterile needles and single-use ink.

Finally, are body art fans welcomed in the workplace? Not always, but Skinfo.com published a list last year of the companies who would welcome inked employees—among them, Whole Foods,Sally’s Beauty Supply, Trader Joe’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Ikea, Forever 21, Staples, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org

Foreign policy experts trust Putin 3X more than Trump

November 13, 2017

Only in the “upside-down” political world of 2017 could these results be credible—and even predictable: Foreign policy experts say they trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than three times more than they do U.S. President Donald Trump — but not nearly as much as they do German Chancellor Angela Merkel—according to results of a recent transatlantic poll just published by Newsweek.

Pew Research Center released the results on November 7 of a survey conducted among the attendees of the 2017 Brussels Forum, hosted last March by the German Marshall Forum.

“Across Europe and North America, foreign policy experts express little confidence in the world leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump. Only a cumulative 12% say they have a lot (1%) or some (11%) confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” a report accompanying the data read.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin inspires somewhat more trust among experts. Nearly four-in-ten foreign policy experts (39%) say they have at least some confidence in Putin’s handling of world affairs,” it added.

Among the public, Trump fared slightly better than Putin, beating him 21% to 19%. However, confidence in the two controversial world leaders paled in comparison to attitudes about German Chancellor Angela Merkel—who was trusted by 93% of foreign policy experts and 61% of the public respondents.

Research contact: info@PewResearch.org

Transgender issues: GOP says sex is set at birth

November 10, 2017

In a new public opinion poll of 4,573 Americans by the Pew Research Center, Democrats and Republicans have offered sharply different views on transgender rights.

Overall, roughly half of Americans (54%) say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex he or she was assigned at birth; while slightly fewer (44%) say someone can be a man or a woman even if that is different from the that person was assigned at birth.

The views of the U.S. political parties reflect the ideas of their constituents. While 80% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (64%) take the opposite view and say a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

The survey also finds that Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or advanced education are more likely than other Democrats to say that a person’s gender can be different from the sex he or she was assigned at birth. About three-quarters (77%) of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more say this, compared with 60% of Democrats with some college and 57% of those with a high school diploma or less. No such divide exists among Republicans.

Democrats’ views also differ surprisingly by race and ethnicity. Some 55% of black Democrats and 41% of Hispanic Democrats say a person’s gender is determined by the sex assigned at birth—a view shared by just 24% of white Democrats.

Finally, people who say they personally know someone who is transgender are more likely to say society has not gone far enough in accepting transgender people. About half (52%) of those who know someone who is transgender say this, compared with 31% of those who don’t know a transgender person.

The link between knowing someone who is transgender and saying society should be more accepting of transgender people is evident among Republicans and Democrats alike. Among Republicans, 18% of those who know a transgender person say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting people who are transgender, compared with 10% among those who don’t.

The gap is even wider among Democrats: 71% of those who say they know someone who is transgender say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting transgender people,; versus 52% of Democrats who don’t know someone who is transgender.

The survey comes amid debates over which public bathrooms transgender individuals should be permitted to use, how transgender individuals should be described on official documents and whether they should be allowed to serve their country in the U.S. military.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org