Are there differences in fatalism between rural southerners and midwesterners?

Dov Cohen, Richard E. Nisbett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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,ethnogrphers, writers, and social scientists, we found no evidence ,hat 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2181-2195
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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