Brits are afraid of... cats?

Tue 24 February 2009 08:30, Bas van den Beld

Brits are afraid of... cats?

Brits are afraid of flying and cats. That is, if you believe that searches are an indication of what people are  thinking and doing. Numbers provided by Hitwise show that the most searched for fear in the UK was ‘fear of flying’.

For the 12 weeks ending 14/02/09, UK Internet users searched for over 8,500 distinct terms containing the phrase ‘fear of’. Flying and cats are the most searched for 'fears' in that period.

Hitwise tells us that one of the topics in the book "Click" is using search data to get an understanding of what people really think about a topic. This should give you a closer look in the mindset of people because they tend not to tell the entire truth about their thoughts when asked directly.

The top ten list by Hitwise:

1. fear of flying (2.27% of all ‘fear of’ searches)
2. fear of cats (1.72%)
3. irrational fear of cats (1.34%)
4. fear of clowns (1.10%)
5. fear of long words (1.01%)
6. fear of heights (0.86%)
7. fear of the dark (0.62%)
8. fear of death (0.61%)
9. fear of spiders (0.43%)
10. fear of crime (0.36%)


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