The survey polled more than 28,000 people for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service, asking them to rate 12 countries as having a positive or negative influence on the world. The countries on the list included: Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela.
Canada was viewed positively by 54 per cent of respondents while 14 per cent held a negative image.
Israel had the worst rating with only 17 per cent sharing a positive view of the country and 56 per cent with a negative rating. For Iran, 18 per cent were positive and 54 per cent negative.
The United States had the third highest negative rating with 51 per cent citing the country as negative and 30 per cent positive. North Korea had a slightly better rating than the U.S. -- 48 per cent negative and 19 per cent positive.
Japan and France followed Canada with the best rankings. Britain, China and India were all viewed more positively than negatively.
Meanwhile, Russia had more negative than positive responses while opinions on Venezuela were evenly split.
The 27-member European Union received a 53 per cent positive rating and a 19 per cent negative rating.
"It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power," said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the research along with pollster GlobeScan.
"Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively," he told the Associated Press.
About 1,000 people in 27 different countries including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Australia were surveyed. As well, four predominantly Muslim countries -- Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia -- and two countries with large Muslim populations -- Lebanon and Nigeria -- were polled.
The respondents were interviewed in person and over the phone from November to mid-January. Depending on the country, the margin of error ranges from 3.1 per cent to 4.9 per cent.