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Declinism: is the world actually getting worse? | Pete Etchells

Feb 2nd, 2015 by

A recent survey suggests that 71% of people think that the world is going to the dogs. Are things actually that bad, or is it a psychological trick of the mind?

Let’s face it, 2015 hasn’t been the most positive of years so far. But is the world really going down the pan? Radio 4’s The Human Zoo kicked off a new series this week, taking a look at “declinism” – the idea that we’re predisposed to view the past favourably, and worry that the future is going to be dire. In a survey run by YouGov for the programme, 71% of respondents said they thought the world was getting worse, and only 5% said that is was getting better. But what’s the reality of the situation?

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