Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Geek Squad survey showed Americans feared personal technology problems slightly more than public speaking, crashing their car, death, or heights
The survey results are shown above in a bar chart. (Click on it to see a larger and clearer version). On February 22, 2013 there was an article by Rick Limpert posted at Examiner.com titled Geek Squad gives tips to keep our technology safe. Among other things it said:
“We all have problems with our gadgets and computers, and more and more, people fear problems with their personal technology (78%) than fear death (75%).
In a Geek Squad survey:
Americans fear a personal technology problem more than public speaking (77%), crashing their car (76%), heights (73%), the end of an intimate relationship (65%), a trip to the dentist (55%) or an IRS audit (50%).”
I assumed that that survey had been done recently. So I looked for a press release about it, but only found one from back on August 17, 2004. That one didn’t mention the percentages cited by Mr. Limpert though. It said there was a telephone survey of 1039 American adults, of which 720 qualified (by owning and using computers and other personal technology).
Are the top four percentages significantly different? Nope. The poll has a standard error of 1.6%, calculated assuming that the proportion, p = 0.78 (the percentage divided by 100) with n = 720. The margin of error at 95% confidence is is 1.96 times that, or 3.1%. That margin of error means that if we repeated the survey many times, then we would expect that 95% of the time we would get a percentage in a range between 74.9% and 81.1%