If there’s one country that does fear well, it’s the U.S. As a people, we enjoy being hysterical about stuff. To better understand this tendency, every year Chapman University surveys a bunch of Americans, providing them with a list of potentially scary subjects and asking the respondents to rate each on a scale of 1 (not at all scary) to 4 (very scary). This year’s Chapman University Survey on American Fears, based on a nationally representative sample of about 1,500 Americans, is now out, and here are the items that garnered the highest percentages of 3s and 4s:
The graph is an interesting reminder of how tricky it is to quantify something like fear, especially on a four-point scale. You can be “very scared” of both corporate tracking of personal information and terrorist attacks, and yet only one carries with it the risk of death or dismemberment.