Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2017

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


This paper will explore how fearful Americans are about the state of the environment and how concerned they are with a plethora of environmental issues, including air pollution, water pollution, and global warming. Relying on the Chapman Survey of American Fears data on the environment, I will examine how fearful about an environmental issue an individual is and how their age, income, education level, preferred news channel, and political party affiliation correlate with their level of fear. I expect to find strong correlations between younger people, Democrats, those who prefer liberal news providers, people with higher incomes, and people with a college education, and a higher level of fear about the environment and environmental issues. Building on previous research the relationship between political party affiliation and preferred news outlet and fear of environmental issues, Democrats who watch more liberal news channels receive more expose to environmental issues instilling the importance and fear. Younger people are more likely to have to deal with the serious consequences of environmental abuse I suspected them to be more fearful of environmental issues. When money is scarce and families live paycheck to paycheck or do not know where their next meal may come from it seems as though environmental issues would be less relevant. Environmental issues are complex and often hard to understand, individuals who have received a college education will have a better understanding of the serious threat environmental issues lend to the planet and the future of human kind leading these individuals to have more fear about the environment. Ultimately, this research exposes how fear drives individual’s political decisions.


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