Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-30-2022

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


The matter of safety has been a prevalent concern in our society as crime-related news continues to flood our technological devices and TV screens. The United States has not seen a shortage of mass shootings, especially in the past few months. Past research has suggested that tragic events such as mass shootings create a sense of moral panic and fear amongst the general public, however fear of victimization has not been studied. In this paper, I will explore possible contributing factors to the public’s perceived risk of becoming a victim of mass/random shootings. Using the data collected by the Chapman Survey of American Fears, a representative national sample of U.S. adults, I examine how the perception of fear varies by one’s age, race/ethnicity, gender, media usage, and party identification. The findings reveal statistically significant correlations in fear when it comes to gender and race, more so than specific media news sources. As crime rates remain high, it is essential to understand public opinion on fear as it plays a crucial role in legal policies in the country.


Presented at the Fall 2022 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.