Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Gallup Poll: Most admired man / woman

Rate this topic


softwareNerd
 Share

Recommended Posts

Each year, Gallup asks Americans to name, in an open-ended format, the man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most. This year's poll was conducted Dec. 5-8. 

Sample size: a little over 1,000 people.

The results
Most admired man: 16% named Barack Obama, with George Bush and Pope Francis as distant seconds (4% each)
Most admired woman: 15% named Hillary Clinton, with Oprah second at 6%, and Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin third with 5% each.

Camille Paglia might be right: political parties have become the new religions ?

Before I accuse fellow-Americans of lacking imagination, I think this poll has a problem. Being a telephone poll, it will get some top-of-mind result, since the respondent does not have much time to think. An answer like "Ayn Rand" is unacceptable because the person must be living. Since people have to respond quickly, one should expect to find names that are top-of-mind / in the news. In addition, respondents might assume they're being asked to name a relatively well-known person. So, 9% named a friend or family member, many respondents might have not thought of that as being what they were being asked. Also, about 27% did not answer. 

 

So let's assume those two excuses:  you have to reply quickly / top-of-mind, and you have to name a person who is at least somewhat known. When I set those parameters, the two names that came to my mind were Warren Buffett and Marissa Mayer. Those might well have been my answers, even though I realize -- even while answering -- that I hardly know anything about Mayer (just came up as "successful woman" from my sub-conscious), and even though there are things I don't like about Buffett.  I gave myself another 15 minutes and came up with Marva Collins and J.K. Rowling as women! I forced myself to choose a black man, and came up with Bill Cosby.

 

 

Next, I wondered if race was a factor in naming Obama. For example, to a black person Obama might signify the black man who became president, despite the odds. With that context, Obama might be an understandable answer. However, I think race is not an important factor here. Looking back at some older results, in the 2003-2007 polls, Bush was the most-admired man, with a high of 29% in 2003, and still leading with 10% in 2007. I wonder if the current president always scores high.

 

What strikes me is that so many politicians get named among the top 20. I can understand someone like Huckabee getting 1% in some years, since he has a TV show that folks might be watching, and they might see him standing up for what they believe (in other words, Huckabee the crusader and intellectual, not Huckabee the politician), but I cannot explain John Kerry being named by 2% in 2004.

 

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this. perhaps it does not reflect the ascendancy of politicians and parties. Perhaps all the poll tells us is that about 20% of respondents will respond with some completely top-of-mind popular name, regardless.... and then get back to cooking dinner.

 

But... whom would you name as your most-admired living man and woman? Whom would you name if you're put on the spot for a quick answer? And whom, on more reflection?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

XD My top of the head answers: Stephen Hawking and Malala (I don't remember her last name or how many "L"s are in that. ^_^;  )

The female one took me a little longer to come up with, but I think it's a pretty decent answer actually. The male one basically is just "Oooh, sciency things, I like sciencey things. *o*  " I'm not really coming up with much thinking about it longer. Maybe I'll wake up with good idea at 2AM or something and edited it in. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

XD My top of the head answers: Stephen Hawking and Malala (I don't remember her last name or how many "L"s are in that. ^_^;  )

The female one took me a little longer to come up with, but I think it's a pretty decent answer actually. The male one basically is just "Oooh, sciency things, I like sciencey things. *o*  " I'm not really coming up with much thinking about it longer. Maybe I'll wake up with good idea at 2AM or something and edited it in. :P

Malala was #5 this year and last, with 2%. She deserves admiration, and there really is no contest between her and 3 of the 4 before her (Hillary, Michelle, Palin). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The people at the top of my head are Neil de Grasse Tyson, and Lady Gaga. Yes, that's a serious answer for Lady Gaga. On reflection, other people I came up with throughout the day after reading this thread today: I totally forgot about Malala - I heard an interview she gave once, had a very admirable attitude. David Bowie is also very admirable to me for being so dedicated to his career.

 

 

Who is this Billy Graham guy? He's in the top 10 for males this year and has the all time highest record down below, but I don't even recognize the name.

Some well known preacher, I think he tends to preach to large crowds, so that's how he gets to be well-known.

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll go with James Watson, but Hawking is a good candidate too. Bezos, Larry Page as well. It's a toss up. As far as women, I admire Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but it would be silly to equate her with the four men on the list.

Can't think of a woman in the same league, sorry. I'd have to use google, and I think that would be cheating.

[edit] Matsumoto Hitoshi is a brilliant and driven Japanese entertainer, always looking to innovate and be original. While his achievements pale in comparison to the above four, I probably know more about him than any of the others, so, since this is about my personal admiration, maybe he's the better answer.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who is this Billy Graham guy?

He's famous in his own right as a preacher, but he's most famous for being the go-to "spiritual adviser" of various Presidents over the years (basically a more tame version of Rasputin I suppose). His name pops up for the same reason all the politicians' names do: a lot of people have a mystical admiration for power rather than actual achievement or personal qualities. Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I admire my former thesis advisor because he is like a wheel, publishing paper after paper. I also admire Edward Snowden for risking his life to bring to public debate the excesses of the NSA. I admire my wife for her ambition in real estate investments and courage in facing two major surgeries this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, here's my pick for most admired woman alive: Dr Anne Wortham. If she is not famous enough, don't blame me. I make my selection based on the best qualified individual to make the most important statements for our times.

 

 

 

Why no woman?

 

I admit I had trouble thinking of an alive woman who was both famous and admirable in my eyes. 

Please check out this video.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...