Asian Americans most likely to fear zombies and ghosts, study finds
A recent study that analyzes fear of the supernatural in different communities found that, compared to other racial and ethnic groups, Asian Americans are more likely to fear zombies and ghosts.
Sociologists Tony Silva and Ashley Woody have published their social paper titled “Supernatural Sociology: Americans’ Beliefs by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Education” on March 10. their fears, including “corrupt officials, “murder hornets,” “a devastating earthquake,” and “corporate tracking of personal data,” among others. Silva and Woody focused on data regarding supernatural and paranormal phenomena.
“This research examines how supernatural beliefs vary by race/ethnicity, gender, and education after adjusting for other demographic characteristics and religiosity. … The findings highlight how strongly gender, upbringing, and race/ethnicity are tied to complex belief systems, including supernatural phenomena,” they wrote in their summary.
The Chapman survey showed that compared to members of other racial and ethnic groups, such as “non-Latinx white”, “non-Latinx black” and Latinx, Asian Americans are more likely to have fear of ghosts and zombies.
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Silva and Woody believe that cultural traditions could explain differences in supernatural or paranormal beliefs among those who participated in the survey, citing members of the black community as an example.
“Historically, superstitions and stories of ghostly visitations were prominent in African American folklore, which may shape the belief systems of some Black Americans today,” they wrote.
For members of the Asian American community, Silva and Woody explained that the idea of the deceased visiting the living is “deeply embedded in certain racial/ethnic cultural traditions such as the Lunar New Year, which is widely observed throughout East Asia and the American diasporas of Southeast Asia.
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One of the traditions observed on the eve of the Lunar New Year is offer food to ancestral spirits to show respect. Family members place offerings such as meat, wine, incense sticks and incense paper in front of the shrine or grave of their ancestors.
“Even outside of important holidays, ancestor worship is a daily spiritual practice for groups such as Vietnamese Buddhists,” the sociologists noted.
Interestingly, even though Asian American respondents scored high on their beliefs in ghosts and zombies, they scored lower than Black survey participants on fear of haunting. .
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Among all participants, Asian Americans also scored higher on their beliefs in the Lost City of Atlantis and Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
Featured image via William Cho (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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