The authors are indebted to the following people for their help with data collection and survey development: Mechele de Avila, Terri Brandes, Eli Cohen, Lisa Cohen, Ronna Cohen, Wendy Dodrill, Jennifer Busier, Ed Ferrer, Athena Foley, David Howell, Kerrie Johnson, Sheri Levy, Karla Metzger, David Mosby, Holly Pesavento, Andrew Reaves, Cassie Slisher, Kent Talcott, and Ken Visser. Work on this project was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (#DBS-9l2l346 and SBR-9808164), the Russell Sage Foundation, the University of Illinois Research Board, and the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.
Are There Differences in Fatalism Between Rural Southerners and Midwesterners?1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 28, Issue 23, pages 2181–2195, December 1998
How to Cite
Cohen, D. and Nisbett, R. E. (1998), Are There Differences in Fatalism Between Rural Southerners and Midwesterners?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28: 2181–2195. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01366.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
We conducted a phone survey of the rural South and Midwest examining fatalism and riskiness of health practices. Contrary to the contentions of some historians, ethnographers, writers, and social scientists, we found no evidence that Southerners were more fatalistic than Midwesterners. Southerners were not more likely to express the view that God or fate controlled their lives, and they were not more likely to take chances with their health and safety. The present findings contradict a commonly held view of the South, as well as a famous report in Science (Sims & Baumann, 1972) maintaining that higher death rates for tornadoes in this region might be due to Southern fatalism.