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Survey shows what Americans really fear

By Shawn Price
Survey shows what Americans really fear
A new study by Chapman University found Americans have a much greater fear of the government, technology and pandemics than ghosts or zombies. File photo by Shutterstock/Adam Gregor

ORANGE, Calif., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A new study by a California university shows Americans have a much greater fear of the government, technology and pandemics than ghosts or zombies.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans are afraid or very afraid of government corruption, the Chapman University Survey of American Fears found. At 58 percent, the subject topped a list of 88 items people were asked about, with personal appearance -- specifically what people thought of how you were dressed -- being last at 4.2 percent.

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Researchers quizzed 1,541 people across the United States about all their various fears and anxieties and nearly half are afraid of cyber terrorism or having their online information tracked by the government and corporations. Also included the top 10 were terrorist attacks, biological warfare, identity theft, economic collapse, running out of money in the future and credit card fraud.

Researchers broke down fears into different fear domains with those created by man outweighing those created by nature.

The highest rated of natural disasters was not hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes but pandemics at 34.3 percent. People's personal anxieties peaked with fear of reptiles at 33 percent. Global warming topped American's fear of the environment at 30.7 and death was still the thing most people feared in daily life at 16.8 percent.

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Researchers did ask people about other, more literary fears like ghosts, which 9.7 percent of people said they feared, and zombies at 8.5 percent.

Other various items on the survey included war at 35.8 percent, heights at 27.4 percent, insects at 25.5 percent, loneliness at 22 percent, the dark at 9.3 percent and clowns at 6.8 percent.

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