New York

Aahhh! Study Reveals Tri-State's Most-Searched Phobias

What to Know

  • With the ghoulish holiday of Halloween around the corner, a study took a look at each state’s top-searched phobia
  • Overall, the report found that fear of spiders and fear of people were the top-searched phobias in the country so far this year
  • NY's (and NJ's) fear could explain why the Empire State has the least licensed drivers per capita and the most taxi drivers

What terrifies you the most? Could it be spiders? Snakes? People? Perhaps heights? Or even death?

With the ghoulish holiday of Halloween around the corner, the home security website YourLocalSecurity.com took a look at what strikes fear in the hearts of millions of Americans. With this in mind, the site revealed each state’s top-searched phobia and the results may be surprising to some.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, a phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that presents itself as a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no real danger.

Overall, the report found that fear of spiders and fear of people were the top-searched phobias in the country so far this year.

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Meanwhile, on a local level, the Your Local Security revealed some unique results for the tri-state area.

Vehophobia — the fear of driving — is New York and New Jersey’s biggest fear, which could provide a reason as to why New York has the least licensed drivers per capita and the most taxi drivers in the nation.

Connecticut, however, doesn’t fear getting behind the wheel, but it is terrified of thunder. According to the study, the state’s top-searched phobia is astrophobia — the severe fear of thunderstorms and lightning.

The report also revealed additional interesting findings like that North Dakota and Wyoming were the only states without a top-searched fear, sunny New Mexico fears the dark, Montana — with all its tall peaks — is terrified of heights and California — home of Tinseltown and Silicon Valley — is surprisingly most afraid of success.

The study also determined that Texas has a "fear of everything," known as panphobia, although Your Local Security says while the description of this phobia "without context seems hyperbolic, it is most easily compared to generalized anxiety disorder." 

Your Local Security

In order to compile the results, Your Local Security used Google’s autocomplete feature to find the 15 most common ways to end the phrases “why am I afraid of/to” and “why am I scared of/to.”

Subsequently, these phrases—and the scientific names of those fears—were then put into Google Trends to determine which phobias each state was searching for more than other states.

This information was gathered during an entire year, from Aug. 29, 2017 to Aug. 29, 2018.

To see the results of the study in its entirety, click here.

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