Arabic Numerals Study Is A Sad Commentary, And Inaccurate
I think that while this study is a bit of an eye-opener, it is also indicative of an "own" culture and kind of wrong.
The numbers you use every day are Arabic numerals. That's a fact. Folks used Roman Numerals then jumped over to Arabic numerals. Arabic numerals are used pretty much worldwide.
Recently a poll was conducted that asked, "Should schools in America teach Arabic Numerals as part of their curriculum?" Sadly, 56% of those respondents said "no". Supposedly this is supposed to show a bias against things of Middle Eastern descent. While some of that may be true, a lot of it is bulls@#t.
When you frame a question the way this one is framed, you are setting people up. They may have even known or heard that numerals were Arabic, but they second-guessed themselves when they heard the question framed this way. Also, maybe they don't have a bias against Middle East folks, maybe they just want kids to learn the numbers that they consider most important here (and didn't realize they were Arabic). This would show that they are ignorant of how numbers were developed, but would not be indicative of any racial animus.
I can tell you, as a kooky morning show d.j., that if you put people on the spot and twist a question, they'll almost always fall for it. On several occasions in the past during a rapid trivia quiz I've asked someone, "what color are blue jeans?" and received some answer other than blue.
So, take this poll with a grain of salt. It may show a few red flags but not a full out problem. You're not going to get real feelings from a trick question.