Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


According to the Survey of American Fears (2020-2021) fear of corrupt government officials is the number one thing Americans fear: 79.6 % of them in fact. In addition, voter turnout is one of the quintessential pillars that allows a democracy to function properly. In this paper I will examine the extent to which fear of government officials’ corruption affects voter turnout. Using the data from the Chapman Survey of American Fears and variables from the American National Election Study between 2020 and 2021, I expect to find a moderately strong relationship between fear of government corruption and voter turnout. Moreover, I expect to find that the more an American, fears that government corruption is taking place, the less likely that individual is to vote. When looking at the 2020 and 2021 data on elections and fears, I expect media, policy, and party control to affect the fear Americans have of governmental corruption. Another mechanism I expect to affect American’s fear of corruption is political preference; more specifically I expect Republicans to have less of a fear of government corruption. Although eliminating fear of corruption is nearly impossible, limiting outside factors that increase fear of corruption can increase voter turnout, and increase political activism in the United States.


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