April 1, 2010

Dysfunctional. Corrupt. Inept. Guess Who?

86%

Asked to give a one-word description of Congress, 86% said something negative while just 4% gave a positive response.

Looking at the word cloud below it is not hard to guess what the words are describing. Dysfunctional. Corrupt. Selfish. The larger words in the image are the one-word descriptions of Congress most cited by Americans. However, most of the smaller words are also less than favorable. In fact, when asked to give a one-word description of the legislative branch of government, 86% said something negative while just 4% gave a positive response. Many of the words reflected perceptions that Congress has been unable or unwilling to enact legislation (inept, confusing, gridlock, etc.). To illustrate the public’s impressions of Congress, responses were entered into Wordle, a website that generates “word clouds” from text provided by the user. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Read More