New Survey Reveals America's Top Fears | NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

New Survey Reveals America's Top Fears

The third annual survey by Chapman University in Orange, California, asked more than 1,500 adults nationwide about their level of fears

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    The top fear hasn't changed since 2015, but there was an overall shift in other top fears.

    In the midst of an intense presidential election season, a new survey reveals what Americans fear the most in 2016: corrupt government officials. 

    The third annual survey by Chapman University in Orange, California, asked more than 1,500 adults nationwide about their level of fears in 11 major "domains" of fear, including crime, the government and disasters. 

    "We have noticed that top fears tend to reflect to key factors: uncertainty and lack of control," Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman University who lead the survey, told NBC in a statement. "People tend to fear things the most that have the potential to significantly upend their lives and those fears are even greater if they perceive having little control over that phenomenon." 

    The ten major fear “domains” used in the survey in April 2016 were: crime, economics, environment, government, illness and death, immigration, man-made disasters, natural disasters, personal fears, relationships and technology.

    Clinton Gives First Post-Election Speech at Event for Women

    [NATL] Hillary Clinton Gives First Post-Election Speech at Event for Businesswomen

     Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her first public appearance on Tuesday since losing the 2016 presidential election, speaking at a meeting of the Professional Businesswomen of California organization in San Fransisco, California.

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    The top fear hasn't changed since 2015, but there was an overall shift in other top fears, according to Bader. In 2016, the second greatest fear was a terrorist attack, and the third was financial instability in the future.

    In 2015 the second greatest fear was cyber-terrorism, followed by corporate tracking of personal data.

    Of the 1,511 people surveyed in 2016, approximately 60.6 percent reported fear of corrupt government officials. Last year, of 1,541 surveyed adults, 58 percent reported this fear. 

    The fears this year reflect more concerns with health and finance than last year’s data collection. 

    "We began this study in 2014 in the hopes of developing a greater understanding of the role of fear in American life over time," Bader said. "What is lacking is an ongoing, systematic, scientific study of American fears and what predicts those fears and the outcomes of those fears." 

    The Top 10 Fears of Americans in 2016:

    Corrupt government officials 

    Terrorist attack

    School Play Canceled Over KKK Photo

    [NATL] School Play Canceled Over KKK Photo

    Administrators from Minnesota's New Prague High School canceled the school's spring play after a Snapchat photo circulated of some of the students depicted as Ku Klux Klan members, causing some concern from students and parents. The play, "Foreigner," depicts Klan members in its final scene. 

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    Not having enough money for the future 

    Terrorism 

    Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition 

    People I love dying 

    Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head

    [NATL] Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head

    Sixteen-year-old Bosnian taekwondo martial artist Kerim Ahmetspahic performed an incredible stunt over the weekend. He smashed 111 cement building blocks with his head.

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    Economic/financial collapse 

    Identity theft 

    People I love becoming seriously ill 

    The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

    Do Cats Actually Love Their Humans?

    [NATL] Do Cats Actually Love Their Humans?

    Does your little feline friend actually love you, or are they just using you for food? Scientists from Oregon State University isolated 50 cats, depriving them of all stimuli before reintroducing four things: human interaction, food, scent and toys.

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)