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The Odds of Fear

Life is made up of a series of choices that shape our actions and affect how we live on a daily basis and fear plays a significant role in the formation of these behavioural patterns. So, as a community, what are humans most terrified of? Is it more likely that these concerns will come true, or do we stand a better chance of encountering something we had no idea could be so dangerous?

We surveyed 1,000 American participants to find out what they are most afraid of in order to answer questions like these and you might be surprised by their responses. Continue reading to find out if some of the most popular concerns will come true in your lifetime.

Prevalent Fears


What do we fear the most if fear has the capacity to prompt us to react? What are the chances that these terrifying scenarios that keep individuals up at night will take place? We asked poll respondents to rate common fears on a scale that goes from 1 to 7, with 1 being not at all scared and 7 being deathly afraid. The options ranged from being crushed by your own furniture to a nuclear holocaust.

Regardless of the odds, the most common concern among Americans was cancer, which scored a 4.8 on a scale of one to ten. Following that, getting into a car accident scored a 4.6 and acquiring heart disease were the following top two worries.

The three scenarios that didn’t cause much fear was an increase in border control, with a rating of 1,9, being crushed by a large piece of furniture, with a rating of 2, and finally, being injured by a firework with a rating of 2.2.

Top Fears by Gender


The top five phobias of men and women were determined by analyzing survey results depending on each participant's reported gender. Men and women, it turns out, have some of the same fears. Cancer, being in a vehicle accident, developing heart disease, and having a stroke were the top four worries, regardless of gender.

How do these concerns compare to reality? Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is responsible for one out of every four deaths in the United States. Cancer is a well-founded worry, with nearly half of men and slightly more than a third of women developing it at some point in their lives.

Getting into a car accident was identified as the second greatest fear by both men and women, which tied with fear of heart disease in men. In truth, a stroke is more likely to kill you, which was listed as No. 4 for both genders. In the United States, the chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 114, whereas stroke kills 1 in every 20 people.

As a result of their longer lifespans and reproductive circumstances, women are more likely than men to have a stroke. On the other hand, because males spend more time behind the wheel and are more prone to participate in risky driving behaviours, more men are killed in vehicle accidents each year.

What were the points of contention among our participants? Nuclear war was ranked as the top fear among women, while identity theft was ranked as one of the top fears among males. Identity theft affects approximately a million more women than males each year, according to the US Department of Justice.

Fear Throughout the US

When we looked at the top anxieties by area, we discovered that disease, identity theft, and terrorism were the top three. The Northeast was the most fearful, scoring a 5 for cancer, a 4 for identity theft, which is thethe same consensus as the Southwest, and a 3.3 for terrorism on a scale of 1 to 7.

Being shot, colliding with a deer while driving, and being bitten by a venomous snake were among the other top worries. The Southwest was the most concerned about getting shot, with this fear receiving a 3.9 on the scale, while the Midwest was the least concerned with a rating of 3.3. The Midwest and Northeast, on the other hand, were the most scared of the conditions stated above, with respondents from this region only giving a 2.9 to an encounter with a venomous snake.

The Odds of Facing Fears


Facts aside, we all have reasons for choosing one thing over another to be terrified of. People, for example, are roughly as terrified of dying in an aircraft crash as they are of being shot or murdered, according to our data. According to statistics, approximately 33,500 people are killed by firearms in the United States each year, while 271 people died in airplane accidents globally in 2016. So, these fears, while some are more likely than others, are unaffected by how likely something is to happen or not.

The greatest disparity between the top worries and the chance of them occurring, according to our poll, was related to airline crashes. The average American's fear of being in a plane accident was evaluated at 3.5, although the likelihood of it occurring was only 1.7.

The greatest worry was getting cancer, receiving a rating of 4.9, yet the probability of getting it was only 3.9. Food poisoning was the only scenario that Americans dreaded more than its assessed likelihood. Food poisoning was scored a 3.0 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being highly scary, and the probabilities of it occurring were rated a 3.5. While the United States sees roughly 48 million episodes of foodborne disease each year, about 3,000 people die as a result of consuming contaminated food.

Being bitten by a dog was the scenario in which expectation and perceived actuality were the most aligned. Participants rated their dread at 2.7 on a scale of one to ten, with a 2.6 chance of it actually happening.

Scary Odds


Developing cancer was the greatest concern for both men and women, while men thought it was less likely to happen with ratings of 3.6 against 4.3 for women, despite the fact that males are more likely to develop cancer than women.

The second-largest disparity between what respondents feared and what they expected to happen was related to being murdered. Women showed a higher fear, with a rating of 3.9, of being killed than men, who rated it as a 3.4 out of 10, as well as a higher expectation of it happening. In truth, your chances of being a victim of gun violence in the United States are equivalent to those of being in a vehicle accident. When split down by gender, males are more likely than women to die as a result of weapons.

Losing their career to an automated system was identified as the fear that was closest to their expectation by both men and women. Men scored their anxiety at 2.7, while women rated it at 2.6. Men rated the possibility of experiencing this dreadful situation at 2.5, while women ranked it at 2.4. Telemarketing is the career that, according to NPR, is most likely to be supplanted by automated processes in the next 20 years, with a 99 percent likelihood. Mental health and drug addiction social workers, as well as occupational therapists, are the two vocations that are least vulnerable to automation, with a very low 0.3 percent likelihood.

Fear and Precaution


Have you ever wondered which anxieties motivate people to alter their lifestyles? Our survey revealed that the answer to this question varies depending on gender, age and the stage of life of our participants. The fear of losing their job to technology drove the majority of males to modify their working behaviour, with 69 percent of male respondents indicating that they have made adjustments, whereas the fear of difficulties during childbirth drove the majority of women to change their lifestyle choices and behaviours, with 82 percent of women sharing that they had made adjustments to mitigate future risks and complications.

However, roughly the same number of men and women said they changed their lifestyle because they were afraid of dying from the flu, being in a car accident, being bitten by a dog, getting illnesses from food, or being struck by lightning.

Proceed with Caution


Do you consider yourself extroverted and socially engaged, or do you prefer to stay inward and find it difficult to connect with others? Studies suggest that how you deal with your fears depends on whether you're an extrovert or an introvert. Introverts were more likely than extroverts to adjust their behaviours in response to their worries, according to our poll, while only a tiny minority of extroverts reported behavioural changes.

Use this knowledge to swing the chances in your favour, whether you're making a casual wager on who will win the next season of "The Amazing Race" or competing in a "Survivor" pool.

Introverts modified their behaviour the most, with 77%, because they were afraid of being bitten by a shark, and 76 percent changed their behaviour because they were afraid of being in a skydiving accident. Extroverts, on the other hand, reported only 23% and 24% of the time, respectively. The chances of dying when skydiving are one in every 165,172 jumps. A shark attack has a 1 in 3.7 million chance of killing you.

The dread of being deathly ill from the flu, on the other hand, was the one that generated the most behavioural changes among extroverts, with 39 percent. Although it was the last thing on the introvert's mind, becoming deathly ill from the flu has a considerably bigger possibility of occurring than death from a shark attack or skydiving. The flu has a mortality rate of 1.4 per 100,000 people.

Fearful Community


We asked survey participants to share their greatest fear about the current political atmosphere in the United States. Nuclear war, health care, climate change, freedom of expression, press and speech, the level of education, abortion, firearm laws and regulations and even LGBTQ+ rights were among the top politically charged topics that led to some anxiety.

56% of our participants feared nuclear war, 56% were concerned about climate change, 55% commented on the lack of health care coverage for pre-existing diseases. These three political topics have become the top three political fears for Americans, with 55 percent of participants reacting to them. Furthermore, 24% of Americans were concerned about LGBTQ+ rights and momentum regressing, while 28% were concerned about anti-abortion laws tightening.

The Odds of Optimum Survival

The perception of fear is subjective and personal. What impacts you and triggers a fear that’s enough to modify your behaviour and plans may have little to no effect on the next person. Whether you choose to live your life by leaving everything up to chance, or faith, or prefer to let the chips fall where they may, the life we live is made up of the decisions we make, don't make and sometimes ignore. If you plan to go on a trip to the beach, you take the train instead of flying to increase your odds. However, you have the freedom to make the choices that will make you happy and content with each day, regardless of what tomorrow brings. As always, may the odds always be on your side as you navigate this life and the fears that haunt you.


The CasinoTop team interviewed a total of 1000 Americans, of different gender, religions, nationalities and creeds to learn more about the top fears Americans face and the realistic probabilities of these events taking place.

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