Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


In this research I will be observing the fear of falling victim to murder in the United States of America. The research will include comparison between the fear of being murdered by a stranger and the fear of being murdered by someone you know, and comparisons of this data collected from Wave 2 to Wave 7 of the Fear Survey. Also discussed will be the likelihood of either event happening – being murdered by a stranger or someone you know – and other potential independent variables that may have an impact on an individual’s fear or vulnerability to the situations. For example, data from the 2018 Fear Survey found that female respondents recorded fearing both being murdered by someone they know and a stranger more than the male respondents. Using the vulnerability theory, observations can be made to determine whether people more vulnerable to victimization do have higher levels of fear recorded by the Fear Surveys. In order to get an accurate understanding of who is vulnerable, I will be looking at the statistics reported by the FBI from the years that correspond with the waves of the Fear Survey to conclude which gender, race, and marital status are more likely to be victimized. This data from the FBI will then be compared to the patterns of fear found to determine if the fears are realistic based on the risks. I expect this paper to make the scholarly contribution of comparing the risk factors/demographics of murder victimization to the levels of fear in order to minimize the disconnect between crime statistics and fear. Minimizing this disconnect is important due to the constraints it can have on individual lives and the political system.


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