By Elizabeth Palermo via LiveScience.com
People who believe in ghosts may be more afraid of actual, real-world dangers — things like violent crimes or nuclear war — than are people who don’t hold paranormal beliefs, a new survey finds.
The Survey of American Fear asked people in the United States to divulge the terrors that keep them up at night. For the survey, nearly 1,500 participants responded to questions about 88 different fears and anxieties, ranging from commonplace phobias (like fear of heights) to less tangible concerns (like fear of government corruption). The survey also asked participants about their beliefs concerning paranormal and mythical things, like ghosts, Bigfoot and ancient aliens.
“The reason we ask [about paranormal things] on the survey is that we’re interested in finding out what kind of clusters of beliefs tend to be associated with fear,” Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in California and leader of the second annual Fear Survey, told Live Science.
Last year in the survey, researchers asked questions that gauged the respondents’ scientific reasoning. This was done to find out how the individuals’ knowledge of scientific ideas (how electricity works, why the sun sets in the west, etc.) related to those respondents’ fears. But this year, the focus was on supernatural beliefs, not scientific ones.
Bader and his colleagues found that quite a few Americans hold paranormal beliefs. The most common of these is the belief that spirits can haunt particular places; 41.4 percent of the demographically representative group of participants said they held this belief. A lot of Americans (26.5 percent) also think that the living and the dead can communicate with each other in some way, the survey found.
Many survey participants said . . .
Part 2: Ulterior Motives
Why do some people claim to believe in a conspiracy theory, when in fact they do not? In Part One of this two part series, I explained that some people do this out of a motivation of fear (mainly the fear of some sort of lose by no longer believing in a conspiracy theory, or the fear of some type of retaliation).
Of course it is not always fear that motivate a person to claim that they believe in a conspiracy theory when they really don’t. It could be that they have an ulterior motive that tends to be selfish in it’s reasons.
Conspiracy theorists get a lot of attention, either from fellow conspiracy theorists who may or may not share their beliefs, or from skeptics who debunk their beliefs (while at the same time mocking them for those beliefs), or from the media (and law enforcement agencies) when a conspiracy theorist breaks the law after being motivated to do so by a conspiracy theory.
This attention can be attractive to those whom seek out attention themselves, and will take any type of attention (positive or negative) they can get.
Basically you can think of them as a bratty child who is acting bad simply because no one will play attention to them, and they know that acting the way that they are people will pay attention to them, and they do so without fear of consequences because there might actually be very little in the way of consequences, and even when they do suffer the consequences of their actions, they know it will be either minor and/or temporary, and that there are probably ways around it too.
Some people claim to believe in conspiracy theories not because they actually do, but because they’re greedy, and they know that selling products that some conspiracy theorists buy can make them a lot of money.
For example, some one might open up a store that sells alternative medicine. The owner of the store might tell their customers how they “believe” that big pharma is evil, and that the medicine big pharma makes is actually bad for you, and that what they are selling will cure just about anything. The owner might not believe a word they just said, but if it gets them a sale, then they might not care.
Another example would be someone who has their own radio show and/or internet site which is dedicated to conspiracy theories, and lets say that this radio show and/or internet site has several sponsors that sell products that are aimed at conspiracy theorists. This could cause the host of this radio show and/or internet site to constantly spout out conspiracy theories that don’t believe in order to keep money rolling in from those sponsors, and maybe even sell products that they have created (such as videos) to their audience.
- Michael Hastings: 5 Conspiracy Theories That Didn’t Pan Out (illuminutti.com)
- What is a Sheeple? (illuminutti.com)
- 7 Reasons why Conspiracy Theorists get their videos and pages removed from Youtube (illuminutti.com)
- Why do people lie about their belief in a Conspiracy Theory? (illuminutti.com)
- HAARPing mad – an assessment of the HAARP conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists. (illuminutti.com)
- Is it a Conspiracy Theory, or is it Satire? (illuminutti.com)
- What Our Conspiracy Theories Say About Us (illuminutti.com)
- Nope, It Was Always Already Wrong (illuminutti.com)
- HAARP Geo-physical Weaponry Theory (illuminutti.com)
- Coincidence Theorists Versus Conspiracy Theorists (philosophers-stone.co.uk)
We probably all suffer from a minor phobia or two, but some people’s lives are virtually debilitated by their fears. This list looks at ten more of the most unusual phobias that afflict people in modern days. If you suffer from any of these phobias, be sure to tell us about it in the comments. For those interested, here is the previous list of bizarre phobias.
10 • Agyrophobia – Fear of Crossing the Street
Agyrophobics have a fear of crossing streets, highways and other thoroughfares, or a fear of thoroughfares themselves. This, of course, makes it very difficult to live comfortably in a city. The word comes from the Greek gyrus which means turning or whirling as the phobic avoids the whirl of traffic. The phobia covers several categories, wherein sufferers may fear wide roads specifically down to suburban single lane streets, and can also include fearing jaywalking or crossing anywhere on a street, even a designated intersection. This phobia is considered independent from the fear of cars.
9 • Mageirocophobia – Fear of Cooking
The bizarre fear of cooking is called mageirocophobia which comes from the Greek word mageirokos which means a person skilled in cooking. This disorder can be debilitating and potentially lead to unhealthy eating if one lives alone. Sufferers of mageirokos can feel extremely intimidated by people with skills in cooking, and this intimidation and feeling of inadequacy is probably the root cause of the disorder for many. If you suffer from mageirokos and wish to develop some basic skills in cooking, check out our Top 10 Tips for Great Home Cooking and Top 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Cooking.
8 • Pediophobia – Fear of Dolls
Pediophobia is the irrational fear of dolls. Not just scary dolls – ALL dolls. Strictly speaking, the fear is a horror of a “false representation of sentient beings” so it also usually includes robots and mannequins, which can make it decidedly difficult to go shopping. This phobia should not be confused with pedophobia or pediaphobia which is the fear of children. Sigmund Freud believed the disorder may spring from a fear of the doll coming to life and roboticist Masahiro Mori expanded on that theory by stating that the more human-like something becomes, the more repellent its non-human aspects appear. My apologies to those who suffer from pediophobia for the picture above.
7 • Deipnophobia – Fear of Dinner Conversation
Now admittedly some dinner conversations can be very awkward, but some people are so terrified of the idea of speaking to another person over dinner that they avoid dining out situations. In times gone by there were strict rules of etiquette that helped a person to deal with these situations – but they are (sadly) mostly forgotten. In today’s society in which rules and formality are out the window, it is possible that the more controlled nature of a dinner party may lie partly behind this phobia. For those amongst us who are interested in some tips for coping with fine dining, read our Top 10 Tips for Fine Dining (number eight is specifically about dinner conversation).
6 • Eisoptrophobia – Fear of Mirrors
Eisoptrophobia is a fear of mirrors in the broad sense, or more specifically the fear of being put into contact with the spiritual world through a mirror. Sufferers experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Because their fear often is grounded in superstitions, they may worry that breaking a mirror will bring bad luck or that looking into a mirror will put them in contact with a supernatural world inside the glass. After writing this list I realized that I suffer from a minor form of this disorder in that I don’t like to look into a mirror in the evening when I am alone for fear of seeing someone (or something) behind me.
- Do you have Pediophobia? (attheheartoffreedom.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 Bizarre Cultural Phobias (expertspages.com)
- Phobias: A Roadblock To Self-Improvement (redoyouproject.wordpress.com)
- What Are You Afraid Of? 19 Bizarre Phobias Revealed (en.rocketnews24.com)
- PTSD vs phobias (crazyinthecoconut.co.uk)
- Psychiatrist: ‘A 100 dollars per visit.’ (ah69.wordpress.com)
- Primal Fear ~ by Kathy L Wheeler (talesofthescrimshawdoll.wordpress.com)
- Fear of the Dark: Fear of Within (thewolvesinside.me)
- Fear is not Phobia!! (madirajuananya.wordpress.com)
- Phobias and their carriers… (jsebascg.wordpress.com)