Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Public speaking came first in a 1987 fear survey by Dental Health Advisor magazine

In the past month or so I have been digging up some more obscure surveys on what people fear. One came from the Spring 1987 issue of a magazine called Dental Health Advisor. I couldn’t get back to the original article, but on a newspaper database I found the data reported in an article titled Opinion Digest that had appeared on page 2 in the April 3, 1987 issue of the Miami Herald. On Google Books I found the same data reported on page 24 of the April 27, 1987 issue of Jet magazine. Finally, I found a table and a bar chart of that data on pages xi and 3 of a book by Stanley F. Malamed, titled Sedation: A Clinical Guide to Patient Management, 5th edition, 2010 over at

The bar chart shown above presents all the data (Click on it to see a larger, clearer version). 27% feared public speaking, 21% feared going to the dentist, 20% feared heights, 12% feared mice, 9% feared flying, and the remaining 11% had other or no fears. 

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