The 2016 hope barometer of the Swissfuture research institute questioned almost 10,000 people about their expectations of the coming year.
Respondents showed a high level of optimism regarding their personal lives but little faith in the economy, Swissfuture said in a media release.
The need for security at home had increased strongly in recent years, it said, and seemed to be a reaction to the increasing terror threat.
The Swiss were taking responsibility for their own hopes and putting less faith in experts and economists.
However, researcher Andreas M. Walker told the 20 Minuten newspaper that people were putting more trust in politics as hope in the economy diminished.
The results of the federal elections in November, where the centre-right emerged as the strongest force, confirmed that people wanted stability, he said.
Respondents showed an ambivalent attitude towards immigrants, seeing them as a boon to the economy in general but as a threat in terms of the job market and the health and social systems.
The Swissfuture hope barometer was launched in 2009. The internet survey is conducted annually.