Here's What Americans Fear More Than Gun Violence

by Kendall Wood

What are your deepest fears?

As part of an ongoing, annual project, Chapman University surveyed 1,500 Americans from across the country to find out what frightens them most.

The research team narrowed down approximately 88 fears to four categories: personal fears, drivers of fear behavior, paranormal fears and natural disasters. Within these parameters are fears about murder, crime, government corruption and personal anxieties.

According to the poll, Americans' biggest fears revolve around concerns with the government and technology.

Most notably, of the sample size polled, Americans fear corruption of government officials, cyberterrorism and tracking of personal data by government and technology.

How are Americans coping with these fears? Interesting you ask.

Because they're afraid, participants in the research noted they were installing home alarm systems, sending their children to private schools, purchasing guns and voting for pro-gun candidates.

Dr. Edward Day, Chapman University Sociology Chair, said,

One out of five people in our survey responded that they voted for a candidate because they were afraid. ... When you looked at people who had a higher-than-average fear of government, fully one-third chose candidates because they were afraid. Among those people who report they bought a gun because they were afraid, they mostly reported they were afraid of the government.

For an in-depth look at the major fears addressed in the survey, and how they size up against fears of government and technology, see below:

Citations: Chapman University Survey of American Fears (YouTube), The Chapman University Survey of American Fears (Chapman University), America's Top Fears: Corrupt Government, Data Privacy According to Survey (Complex)