» The Division on the Study of American Fears

Chapman University has initiated a nationwide poll on what strikes fear in Americans. The Chapman University Survey on American Fears included 1,207 participants from across the nation and all walks of life. The research team leading this effort pared the information down into four basic categories: personal fears, natural disasters, paranormal fears and drivers of fear behavior. 


America's Top Fears 2017

Washington DC At night with the capital building

The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) provides an unprecedented look into the fears of average Americans.  In April of 2017, a random sample of 1,207 adults from across the United States were asked their level of fear about seventy-nine different fears across a huge variety of topics ranging from crime, the government, disasters, personal anxieties, technology and many others.

America’s Knowledge of Disaster Preparedness Outdated, Dangerous

wildfire burning trees

In our survey we asked a random sample of Americans about FEARS of man-made disasters, such as a nuclear melt-down, and nuclear and terror attacks, as well as natural disasters. We then asked about their familiarity with safety and preparedness advice/slogans.

Fear of Extremism and the Threat to National Security

faceless man in hoodie on a busy street Americans believe that both Islamic Extremists and White Supremacists represent a threat to national security. Although other types of extremist groups are a concern to large groups of Americans, only these two were identified by a majority of survey respondents. Differences between groups on which group represents the greatest threat reflects the political divisions we see in America on other issues.

Paranormal America 2017

Paranormal America 2017

The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) includes a battery of items on paranormal beliefs ranging from belief in Bigfoot and psychic powers to visits by aliens and haunted houses.