New Survey Showing What People In 2017 Are Most Afraid Of Might Surprise You


In the build up to Halloween, we started to think about the things that really scare us.

I’m not talking about witches, vampires, and the usual supernatural gaffs that accompany Halloween (a.k.a the Snapchat Dancing Hotdog costume), but the things that genuinely keep as up at night.

Researchers at the Chapman University have put together a ‘Fear Survey’ to decipher what things people are most afraid of, and how those fears changed and evolved as time passed. *Hint, it wasn’t the Snapchat Dancing Hotdog*

The Fear Survey first began in 2014 so the 2017 version will be the third year it has run.

A random sample of 1,207 US adults were asked their level of fear about 80 different kinds of fears that spanned a pretty diverse range of topics. – Sounds almost like a game Ramsay Bolton would play with his victims before he proceeded to pick the one they were most afraid of and murder them using the same method.

The topics included crime, the government, the environment, disasters, personal anxieties, and technology amongst others.

While you may expect pretty standard things like spiders to come in high on the list, the first classic ‘general fear’ to emerge was Heights at number 34. Other general fears were Sharks (41st), Spiders (50th), Public Speaking (52nd), Flying (72nd), Zombies (78th) and Ghosts (79th).

Considering the amount of dodgy incidents that have been in the news about flying, I’m really quite surprised that it only comes in four places below Zombies and five below Ghosts – the existence of both is doubtful to say the least.

And apparently, people are also more afraid of Zombies and Ghosts then they are about a Clowns (real) and Significant Others Cheating On Them (potentially real). The public are bizarre.

Here are the top ten things that people are the most afraid of:

10. Air Pollution

Industry in dramatic red sunset light. Chimneys and cooling tower of a coal fired power station.

9. North Korea Using Weapons of Mass Destruction

The explosion of a nuclear charge in a big city.

8. Global Warming

Earth melting into water

7. A Third World War

Black and white retro image of Lancaster bombers from Battle of Britain in World War Two

6. High Medical Bills (hear that Theresa May/ Donald Trump, back off the NHS and Obama Care!).

Affordable Care Act with magnifying glass on magazine article +++ inset photo and all text were created by photographer and are copyright free+++

5. Not Having Enough Money for the Future

A backgrounds with colorful of many roll curreny from many country

4. Pollution of Drinking Water

Big bottle and a piece of cloth floating

3. Pollution of Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes

Dead fish on a tropical beach surrounded by washed up garbage including bottles and plastic bags.

2. Poor Healthcare

medicines in blister packaging and brown glasses in backlight

1. Corrupt Government Officials

London, England - November 10, 2016: British newspaper front pages reporting on the US presidential election result in which Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States.

Plus, it actually turns out that people are more afraid of things than they were just a few years ago. The surveys between 2014 and 2016 showed that people only had one thing that they were “afraid or very afraid” of. The 2017 survey, however, shows that there is now five things on average that people are “afraid or very afraid of”.

In light of the recent political climate, can we really blame people for being particularly terrified of Corrupt Government Officials?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Images via iStock / GIPHY

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