Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


Since 9/11, the American perception of Muslims, Islam, and Middle Eastern people and countries has shifted seemingly negatively. This paper will investigate American’s opinions on Iran and fears of a nuclear strike by Iran while examining American fear of Muslims, party identification, 2020 election voting, news media representations of Iran, social media usage, fears of immigration, fears of falling victim to a terrorist attack, and fears of whites not being the majority. I predict the more Republican one is, the more they will fear an Iranian nuclear attack because of the conservative rhetoric used. I also expect those who voted for Donald Trump will be more afraid of an Iranian nuclear attack. I predict that fear of Muslims, immigration, belief in Q’Anon, fear of another world war, being victim to a terrorist attack, and whites not being the majority will also indicate how fearful one is of an Iranian nuclear attack. I also would like to examine how fear of an Iranian nuclear attack has progressed throughout the last seven years. To explore this, I will be using The Chapman University Survey on American Fears to analyze public opinion surrounding the fear of being victim to terrorism, their political ideology and voting record, how afraid they are of whites no longer being the majority, Muslims, and immigration, and fear of an Iranian nuclear strike. Some results include strong evidence that fear of being a victim of a terrorist attack, fear of Muslims, immigration, and whites not being the majority greatly influence fear of an Iranian nuclear attack. At the same time, political ideology and voting records are significantly less critical. Often representation of Middle Easterners and Middle Eastern politics in media and news is mainly acts of terrorism and radicalism. Since 1979, Iran has maintained a tenuous position in American society. The Trump administration has exacerbated fear of an Iranian nuclear attack, thus examining public opinion and fear of Muslims, Middle Easterners, and countries like Iran especially poignant.


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