Fear: Primary Research

For the topic of fear, I decided to delve into something more personal than the previous artefact. I regularly have nights where it takes me hours to fall asleep because I’ve been worrying about the problems I have, or my mind creates new ones out of thin air. It’s almost as if I fear going to bed because I’m weary of this happening again, or worse, I fear my own mind.

I created a survey using Survey Monkey, which can be found here: <https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WFLDM37&gt;. This survey was created so I could learn whether other people suffer from worrisome nights too and whether it was a big enough problem to make an artefact about. I received 27 responses and because this survey is anonymous, I’m not sure if I got a big enough variety of people. In hindsight, I think I could have asked people’s gender and age as it could have helped me see who this problem affects more.

I found that with surveys, people prefer multiple choice questions as opposed to open ended questions. This is made evident as 15% of the 27 people who completed the survey skipped the first question. This didn’t matter too much, as I only asked the question “How would you define fear?” to see if people tended to think the same way about the word. I had a feeling this would happen, which is why I didn’t add more open ended questions like asking what they tend to worry about at night, for example.


Over 85% of the people who completed my survey said that they do in fact worry at night, and knowing that others have a similar issue to me, made it more real. I think this gave my final artefact some integrity and justified me making a piece about it. What’s more, it seems that most people tend to worry more during the night rather than the day, which can be seen in the picture below.


The fact that only 3 people of 27 never worry at night was quite sad to me. This is when I thought that creating this piece would not only be a therapeutic release for me, but it would also be something for people to know that they’re not alone with this problem.


The reason I asked my final question is because of something that Clifton brought up in class. He asked whether we think people get more or less anxious as they get older. This intrigued me and I wanted to see what people thought. Unsurprisingly 70% of those surveyed thought that we tend to worry more as we get older.


I’m not sure how to add to my primary research at this point, in order to get something that will be of value in creating this artefact. I could possibly ask people in person some more open ended questions, such as “What do you worry about at night?”, but I won’t be doing this for a couple of reasons. One reason is because I really don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable or vulnerable by asking them such a personal question. The other reason is because I don’t think knowing this would add anything to my artefact, because I already have my own fears and insecurities which I am going to talk about. I think that if I know what people’s most common fear/worry is, I’ll end up making my artefact towards that in order to connect with more people. But what I want to do is create something that has meaning to me. I don’t think audiences need to be pandered to, they can still understand and connect to the artefact, even if they don’t experience exactly what is going to be discussed.


SurveyMonkey (2016) Fear during the night. [online] Available from: <https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WFLDM37&gt; [Accessed: 4 Nov 2016]


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