More Than Half of Americans Believe in 9/11 Conspiracies, Among Other Interesting Fears

October 14, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

Photo credit: Pascal Terjan/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

"We found clear evidence that the United States is a strongly conspiratorial society."

With Halloween right around the corner, what better time for Chapman University researchers to complete their third annual Survey of American Fears?

The 2016 survey included over 1,500 adult participants across the United States, and the dataset was organized into six basic categories: personal fears, conspiracy theories, terrorism, natural disasters, paranormal fears, and fear of Muslims.

SEE ALSO: These 13 Conspiracy Theories Actually Turned out to Be True

"We found clear evidence that the United States is a strongly conspiratorial society," study lead author Christopher Bader, a sociologist at Chapman University, said in a press statement.

Interestingly, the data revealed that more than half of Americans believe that the government is concealing information about the 9/11 attacks, as well as the John F. Kennedy assassination. And the conspiratorial beliefs don’t end there — 42.6 percent of Americans believe the government is hiding information about alien encounters, 30.2 percent are skeptical about President Obama’s birth certificate, and 24.2 percent believe in moon landing conspiracies.

The survey found the following to be the top 10 fears of Americans, in order:

  1. Corruption of government officials

  2. Terrorist attacks

  3. Not having enough money for the future

  4. Being a victim of terror

  5. Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition

  6. People I love dying

  7. Economic or financial collapse

  8. Identity theft

  9. People I love becoming seriously ill

  10. The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare”

"The 2016 survey data shows us the top fears have shifted from last year's, which were heavily based in economic and 'big brother' type issues to include more health and financial fears this year," said Bader. "People often fear what they cannot control, and we find continued evidence of that in our top fears."

Interestingly, through analyzing the survey demographics, the team found that the most likely person to believe in a conspiracy is an employed Republican, with a rather low level of income and education, and likely to be Catholic but doesn’t attend religious services often.

LEARN MORE: Paranormal-Believers More Likely to Fear Government, War, Violent Crimes

"Conspiracy theorists tend to be more pessimistic about the near future, fearful of government, less trusting of other people in their lives and more likely to engage in actions due to their fears, such as purchasing a gun," Bader added.

Further information on the 2016 Survey of American Fears can be accessed here.

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