Friday, October 19, 2018

You probably won’t hear public speaking coaches discuss the 2018 Chapman Survey of American Fears

On October 16, 2018 Chapman University reported results from their fifth Survey of American Fears in a blog post titled America’s Top Fears 2018. That post contained what was claimed to be The Complete List of Fears 2018 (also available as a .pdf file). But when I compared them with the 97-page .pdf file about their Survey Methodology, I found they had omitted fear of Gang Violence (27.8%), which was question 23m on page 66. Including it there were a total of 95 fears.

In 2018 fear of Public Speaking was ranked 60th out of these 95 fears (based on the sum of percentages for Very Afraid and Afraid). In 2017 it had been ranked 52nd out of 80 fears, in 2016 it had been ranked 33rd out of 79 fears, and in 2015 it had been ranked 26th out of 89 fears. On October 26, 2017 I blogged about How can you make a public speaking coach run away like a scared zebra? Just tell them where fear of public speaking ranked in the fourth Chapman Survey of American Fears. In that blog post I lamented that coaches instead would likely continue to refer to an article in the Washington Post by Christopher Ingraham on October 30, 2014 titled America’s top fears: public speaking, heights, and bugs. That article showed public speaking as the number one fear - but didn't really list all the fears.

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