Trust in others and confidence in societal institutions are at their lowest point in over three decades, analyses of national survey data reveal. The findings are forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Compared to Americans in the 1970s-2000s, Americans in the last few years are less likely to say they can trust others, and are less likely to believe that institutions such as government, the press, religious organizations, schools, and large corporations are ‘doing a good job,'” explains psychological scientist and lead researcher Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University.
Twenge and colleagues W. Keith Campbell and Nathan Carter, both of the University of Georgia, found that as income inequality and poverty rose, public trust declined, indicating that socioeconomic factors may play an important role in driving this downward trend in public trust:”With the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, people trust each other less,” says Twenge.
“There’s a growing perception that other people are cheating or taking advantage to get ahead, as evidenced, for example, by the ideas around ‘the 1%’ in the Occupy protests.”
via Public trust has dwindled with rise in income inequality.
S+B has shared a new PwC survey, The Trust Agenda, reporting that more CEOs believe trust in their industry is on the rise than the number of CEOs who believe trust is falling. The reasons reported are several.
- Greater emphasis on good growth
- Good growth has a longer term orientation
- Good growth is sustainable
- Good growth is socially responsible (making up, somewhat, for the lapses of the past 3 or 4 decades)
The report is worth a read and is based on a survey of more than 1300 CEOs in 68 different countries.
Edelman’s 2014 message is that government continues to lose trust, but this is not all good news for business. While business may be more trusted generally, according to Richard Edelman:
Business may interpret this as the moment to push for deregulation, as it did a decade ago. That would be a monumental error in judgment. Our research indicates a reputation hangover for business from the Great Recession of 2008. Events of the past 12 months, including a record fine of $13 billion for J.P. Morgan on the sale of troubled mortgage securities, the largest ever bankruptcy in Latin America with the failure of Eike Batista’s EBX deep-water oil drilling firm and food scandals involving antibiotics in the poultry in China, have renewed concerns about business’ ability to self-regulate.
And the conclusion? Richard continues to say that there is public demand for regulation of business.
The most recent For Immediate Release podcast #739 also discusses the report and you can hear perspectives from Shel and Neville early in the show.
Interesting information and food for thought. Over the next day or so I will be checking out the entire report for insights from Asia.
Gap in trust between business and government