April 9, 2007

Social Trust

45%

That’s the percent of the American public who say that generally speaking most people can be trusted. But a slightly larger number, 50%, say that “you can’t be too careful in dealing with people.”

Americans are closely divided on the question of whether most people can be trusted or whether you can’t be too careful in dealing with others; 45% of respondents in a Pew Social Trends survey say the former, while 50% say the latter. These responses have fluctuated very little during the four decades that survey research organizations have been asking this question, save for a period in the 1990s when measured levels of interpersonal trust dipped for a number of years. But since then, social trust has rebounded to roughly the same level it had been before the trough. Read More