A study conducted at Chapman University into the topmost fears and anxieties of average ordinary Americans was made public recently.
The Survey of American Fears shows that the United States may be the greatest nation on earth yet its inhabitants are not without their personal apprehensions. There are several sources of fear in the cards for Yankees and topmost among them is the government hanky panky that the politicians and bureaucrats are capable of. The objects or sources of the fears, their real causes and the far-reaching results they carry were included in the study.
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The various groups, subcultures and classes not to mention masses of people that had their individual fears got their say in the study. Close to a hundred fears were brought into consideration.
The list of fears included in their spectrum of scary thoughts: government screw-ups, criminal activity, ecological crises, future shock, high-tech worries, dread of senescence and hyochondriasis.
There were those who were worried sick about their health status and then there were those who feared man-made hazards and forces of Nature that wreaked havoc. Finally, there were a minority of people who were scared of spaces that closed in on them and of all things…circus clowns.
The list of anxious worries could be prolonged indefinitely but at some point it had to be curtailed for the sake of the reality principle. Over 1500 people took part in the survey. They were spread out throughout the US of A and came from all fields and areas of expertise.
The Chapman University 2015 Survey on American Fears carried out this year had five basic genres. They ranged over the spectrum of individual fears, actions that were feared, natural catastrophes, paranormal anxieties and areas of apprehension.
The top ten fears of Yanks living in the Land of Opportunity are: government officials engaging in bad deeds, computer terrorists, interference in their personal lives by corporate culture, terror in the land by fanatics and extremists, big government poking its nose in matters that don’t concern it, biological weapons of mass destruction, ID theft, economic depression, personal bankruptcy and finally, last but not least, fraudulence related to credit cards.
Top 10 things Americans fear the most are:
- Corruption of government officials
- Corporate tracking of personal information
- Terrorist attacks
- Government tracking of personal information
- Identity theft
- Economic collapse
- Running out of money in the future
- Credit card fraud
"The 2015 survey data shows us the top fears are heavily based in economic and 'big brother' type issues." said Christopher Bader, Ph.D., who led the team effort.
"People often fear what they cannot control," continued Dr. Bader, "and technology and the future of our economy are two aspects of life that Americans find very unpredictable at the moment."
Thus we can see from this that the greatest sources of dread were mainly economic issues. And a close second was the 1984 type of dystopian state where Big Brother was watching your every move.
Even so-called normal individuals avoided what they couldn’t comprehend or influence like the plague. The unknown seemed to have a particularly bloodcurdling effect on the psyche of the people.
The survey showed that the top excuses Americans gave for lack of disaster preparedness are:
- Emergency services will help me
- I just don't have the time
- I don't want to think about it
- I don't know what I am supposed to do
Others reported they could not afford to prepare or purchase an emergency kit.
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"Overall, the survey showed that half of Americans believe in something paranormal," said Dr. Bader. "But that also means half of Americans do not believe in anything paranormal."