Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2017

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


Terrorist groups carry out horrific attacks that harm and kill innocent citizens almost every week worldwide. These attacks incite fear no matter how powerful a person may be, because terrorism affects everyone. Citizens, interest groups, and politicians all have different responses to terrorist organizations and how to handle their fears. Attitudes change, policies are affected, and political parties shift their ideologies to please their electorate. Using data from Chapman University’s Survey on American Fears, I looked at the correlation between political ideology and fear of terrorism. The survey finds that there is a strong correlation between the two and that generally the more conservative a person is, the more afraid of terrorism they are. This follows with previous research done on political ideology and fear of terrorism. Previous research shows that Americans become more conservative when they are afraid of terrorism, are more likely to trust a male Republican during times of terror, and that Republicans “own” issues of national security. This knowledge allows for an exploration into factors that affect these attitudes, such as gender roles, the media, political party history, and much more. Interesting findings includes stereotypes of Republicans and Democrats, the affects of fear on the 2016 election, and the way different emotions such as anxiety and fear affect voters differently. This research is on the forefront of understanding not only how voters’ fears affect politics, but also how politics affect voters’ fears.


Presented at the Spring 2017 Student Research Day at Chapman University.