Saturday, December 10, 2016

Public Speaking isn’t the most common Personal Fear in the third annual Chapman Survey of American Fears for 2016 - Reptiles are

On June 26, 2016 I blogged about the 2015 Chapman Survey of American Fears in a post titled How could you spin the results of a fear survey where public speaking wasn’t even in the top 5, 10, or 20? One answer was to ignore most of the results and instead focus just on one category with 18 rather than 89 fears.

That same strategy can be applied to the 2016 survey. As shown above, we could focus just on the 15 Personal Fears and ignore the other 64. In a post at The ONE thing blog titled How to become a talented public speaker and tell a story that makes an impact they ignored that public speaking ranked 33rd out of 79 fears and instead said:

“If the mere thought of standing in the front of a room and talking to a group of people has your heart pounding and palms sweaty, rest assured, you are not alone. Public speaking is the second most common personal fear. According to a Chapman University survey, over a quarter of people are afraid of speaking to a group. Being the center of attention and knowing that all eyes are on you is a truly terrifying prospect for many people.”

That’s silly because overall 8 of those 15 personal fears were ranked in the Bottom Ten (as also is shown above). I have shown the percentages listed in the Chapman blog post, and mine based on raw data without adjusting for those who didn’t answer (refused).

How could you do even worse? By missing the fear or reptiles. In an October 31, 2016 article at Brain Alchemist titled 5 Blood Curdling Fears and Worst Nightmares of Public Speaking Anastasia Pryanikova claimed:

“According to findings of the Chapman University Survey on American Fears, public speaking is the top personal fear in 2016, afflicting 25.9% of Americans.”

In another blog post on October 22, 2016 titled According to the 2016 Chapman Survey of American Fears, adults are less than Afraid of Corrupt (federal) Government Officials and only Slightly Afraid of the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) I discussed how to calculate a Fear Score where:

1.0 = Not Afraid

2.0 = Slightly Afraid

3.0 = Afraid

4.0 = Very Afraid

The Fear Score for reptiles is 2.060, or just above Slightly Afraid (2.0). For public speaking it is 1.933, and even below Slightly Afraid.

An image of a timber rattlesnake came from Wikimedia Commons.

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