Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Americans And The Economy: Angry Feelings, Fear Exceeds Terrorism Risk

Date:
October 10, 2008
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
In the first three days of the country's economic meltdown that began Sept. 29, 81 percent of Americans surveyed in a national poll agreed or strongly agreed that the financial crisis "poses a greater threat to the quality of my life than does the threat of terrorism." And researchers found little trust in the government and even less in business leaders.

In the first three days of the country's economic meltdown that began Sept. 29, 81 percent of Americans surveyed in a national poll agreed or strongly agreed that the financial crisis "poses a greater threat to the quality of my life than does the threat of terrorism." And researchers found little trust in the government and even less in business leaders.

On a personal level, 41percent of the 802 respondents were very angry about the current financial challenges and 32 percent were moderately angry. Respondents were similarly fearful, worried, and sad. Only 19 percent felt they could adjust to what happens because of the financial crisis; 51 percent said they had no or only slight influence for controlling the impacts on their lives. Seventy-eight percent expect to postpone major purchases (large appliances or cars).

The survey was conducted by a five-member team, including three researchers with University of Oregon appointments, by Decision Research, a think tank for risk assessment based in Eugene. Additional surveys of the same participants will continue.

Asked a series of questions to gauge who participants trust to meet the economic challenge, respondents gave no one a firm endorsement. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama received the highest nod, but at only 23 percent. His Republican rival John McCain drew 16 percent of their trust. Support of President Bush, Congress and the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ranged from 5 percent to 7 percent. Business leaders drew only 2 percent.

The five researchers are William Burns, consultant to the Department of Homeland Security's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis for Terrorism Events and lecturer at California State University at San Marcos; Ellen Peters, senior scientist at Decision Research and courtesy psychology professor at the UO; Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research and UO psychology professor; Martin Tusler of Decision Research and the UO's department of planning, public policy and management; and C.K. Mertz of Decision Research.

"The current financial challenges in the United States represent a unique opportunity to study public risk perceptions and risk-related behaviors in the midst of an on-going economic crisis that threatens the quality of life of a wide spectrum of Americans," Burns said. "Few emergencies within the United States have affected so many people."

Researchers began their surveys at 1 p.m. (Eastern), Sept. 29, as the Dow Jones industrial average was in its biggest one-day decline in decades. Polling continued through 1 p.m., Oct. 1. Participants are on a 1,000-member national panel maintained by Decision Research; members participate in web-based surveys on a continuing basis. While not a random sample, the panel includes a broad cross-section of the people across the United States.

Eighty percent of the panel members, mean age of 39, participated; 71 percent were women and 79 percent were white/Caucasian; and 41 percent hold college degrees. The median annual income of responders was about $50,000. Thirty-nine percent listed their political party affiliation as Democrat, 21 percent as Republican, 20 percent as independent and 17 percent as undeclared. Respondents were 49 percent conservative and 50 percent liberal.

Almost half (48 percent) of respondents had investments in stocks or mutual funds; another 4 percent planned to invest in stocks and mutual funds in the next 12 months. Of these respondents, 31 percent said they were very likely or likely to change their investments during the next week to reduce their financial risk. When asked what they expected their average returns to be over the next year, 27 percent expected a negative rate 9 percent expected zero or no return, and 67 percent expected no more than 5 percent.

When the same questions were asked by Decision Research during the bear market of March 2001, expectations were far more optimistic even though the market declined 69 percent during the year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Americans And The Economy: Angry Feelings, Fear Exceeds Terrorism Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081010172445.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2008, October 10). Americans And The Economy: Angry Feelings, Fear Exceeds Terrorism Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081010172445.htm
University of Oregon. "Americans And The Economy: Angry Feelings, Fear Exceeds Terrorism Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081010172445.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins