BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Each of us has their own fears and we might think they are legitimate, such as the fear of ghosts. However, a new research found that ghosts don’t even make it in the top 10 fears of the average American.
In reality, people said they are way more afraid of Obamacare – and other government-related actions – than they are of supernatural things happening to them. More than 1,500 average American adults took part in a survey conducted by the Chapman University in April of this year.
Respondents were asked to rate their level of fear regarding 88 different scenarios that could cause anxiety, such as technology, disasters, crime, and personal anxieties. The questionnaire was built on a rating system from 1 (not afraid) to 4 (very afraid). By tallying the results and calculating an average, researchers were able to determine what scares Americans the most in 2015.
Topping the list were man-made disasters, ranging from nuclear attacks and terrorism to bio-warfare. Coming in strong second were fears related to technology, including fear of cyberterrorism, artificial intelligence or fear of robots taking over mankind.
The third place was taken by government-related fears, a category which includes immigration issues, government corruption, drones, gun control, and – surprisingly or not – Obamacare.
More than half of the participants reported to be “afraid or very afraid” of corrupted government officials, a timely fear in time for the upcoming presidential elections. Roughly 45 percent are “afraid or very afraid” of cyberterrorism, while 44 percent are afraid of their privacy being invaded by corporate.
Senior author Christopher Bader concluded that what people fear the most is not being in control of what’s going to happen. Bearing this in mind, it’s only natural that technology – robots and such – and the future of the American economy were rated with the highest levels of fear, due to how unpredictable they are.
Surprisingly, Americans’ personal fears – such as dying – aren’t as important, as they did not make the top 10 list. The survey found that people ranked public speaking and reptiles to be scarier than dying – 28.4 and 33 percent, respectively thought so.
Given the close proximity to Halloween, people are also afraid of ghosts (9.7 percent), zombies (8.5 percent) and clowns (6.8 percent), but none of these fears made the top 10 ranking. Fear of technology is also very highly ranked, with participants reporting fear of being replaced by robots in the workplace (28.9 percent), artificial intelligence (22.2 percent) and fear of being replaced completely by robots (23.9 percent).
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