People become afraid of certain things for personal reasons. While fear of ghosts sounds legitimate, a new research found this does not even make the top 10 fears of average Americans - in fact, people are more afraid of government-related actions like Obamacare than the supernatural.
Chapman University conducted a survey among 1,541 average American adults across the United States in April 2015. The participants were presented a list that includes about 88 different scenarios ranging from disasters, crime, technology and personal anxieties. The participants were asked to rate their level of fear from 1 (not afraid) to 4 (very afraid).
After tallying and getting the average score for each scenario, the researchers were able to identify what Americans fear the most in 2015.
Man-made disasters such as biowarfare, terrorism and nuclear attacks topped the list. Technology-related fears, which include fear of robots, artificial intelligence and cyberterrorism, came in a close second. Government-related fears are at third place, and these include government corruption, immigration issues, gun control, drones and even Obamacare.
In particular, the survey showed 58 percent of the participants are 'afraid or very afraid' of corruption of government officials. The fear is very timely due to the upcoming presidential elections. About 44.8 percent are 'afraid or very afraid' of cyberterrorism, while 44.6 percent rated corporate tracking of personal information with the same level of fear.
"People often fear what they cannot control. And technology and the future of our economy are two aspects of life that Americans find very unpredictable at the moment," said lead author Christopher Bader.
Interestingly, life's realities such as personal death did not make the top 10 list. Findings showed people are more afraid of public speaking (28.4 percent) and reptiles (33 percent). And with Halloween just around the corner, fear of ghosts (9.7 percent), zombies (8.5 percent) and clowns (6.8 percent) made the list but not in the top 10 ranking.
With the rise of intelligent machines, the study group also reported to being afraid of being replaced by robots in the workplace (28.9 percent) and artificial intelligence (22.2 percent) and just like in the movie "Terminator," people are also afraid of being replaced entirely by robots (23.9 percent).
Way down the list are personal anxieties that stem from judgement of others like how one dresses (4.2 percent), gender (4.5 percent) and age (5.9 percent).
The findings were published on the Chapman University website blog on Oct. 13.