The results suggest partisanship is often a substitute for knowledge and personal experience, researchers from the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago said in a release.
The survey of 2,136 adults, conducted in the weeks prior to the 2012 presidential election, found 55 percent of Democrats said the nation's economy has gotten better in the last year while just 8 percent of Republicans said the same.
Twenty-eight percent of Democrats said their own family's finances are better off than last year compared to 9 percent of Republicans.
"In the survey, it is clear that Republicans and Democrats see the world very differently," political science Professor Mark Hansen said. "Even matters that are not obviously political, like whether or not people think the economy is improving or whether their family's finances have improved, were strongly influenced by political party affiliation."