Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


Deception is easy, especially with fast media in the 21st century. News outlets in both a national and local levels are credited for exposure of inaccurate or dramatized information; which can negatively affect the population especially during events of collective trauma. In lue of the September eleventh terrorist attack, despite majority of civilans not having direct exposure, over 20% of participants in a past study, believed this attack was the worst event of their lives due to media coverage and exposure.This essay will examine the correlation between fear of terrorism and several factor ranging from news validity, forms of media, age demographics, and political affiliation. I focused on politically affiliated news outlet to better understand if fear of terrorism is a dramatized based on political party. This study will draw from a nationally representative sample out of the Chapman University Survey on American Fear, and will analyze related fluctuations within the variables. My findings show a light discrepancy between political affiliation and fear of terrrorism and a stronger relationship between media mediums being the source for the fear of terrorism. I found a greater percentage of Democrats being afraid of terrorism before factoring the media. After I found more Democratic news outlets yield greater percentages of fear in comparison to the smaller percentage of Republican new sources causing fear. I found greater fear in younger generations when exposure to television is increased. Ultimately, the fear of terrorism in the United States is valid, yet it is essential to acknowledge this fear and the extent to which the population is plagued. To ensure action at a federal level and evaluate accurate media coverage the issue needs to be exposed, our citizens need to feel safe in their own nation and trust the information that is relayed to them.


Presented at the virtual Fall 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.