Americans don’t trust each other, new poll finds

By Daniel S Levine,

Americans don’t know who to trust any more, so they have decided to just be safe and not trust anyone they don’t know personally, according to a new poll released on Monday.

The poll is part of a study conducted since 1972 by the Associated Press and the General Social Survey, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Its findings note that two-thirds of Americans believe that you have to be cautious when dealing with anyone, but that stat is just the tip of its surprising results.

When traveling, 78 percent of Americans don’t have much faith in anyone they meet and only 19 percent think they can trust people. And when it comes to driving, 75 percent don’t trust anyone else behind the wheel, biking or even walking. Only 21 percent have any trust in others while driving and those under the age of 30 are more worrisome about bad drivers than elders.

Also, most people are not confident that their social media friends won’t share their stuff with others. Only 38 percent have confidence in their online friends.

Americans don’t even like welcoming people into their home - 55 percent of people don’t trust people who have to come into their home for cleaning and construction.

About the only people Americans do trust is their doctors, but it’s only 50 percent who trust them, with 46 percent being a little cautious about what medical professionals have to say.

Don’t even get started on politicians. When asked if they trust the federal government to do what’s right, 81 percent only believe that their elected officials will do the right thing some of the time.

According to the Las Vegas Guardian, studies like these do have some analysts worried about the future of our society, since it shows how people are less likely to make compromises for what’s good for everyone. “When trust is low, the way we react and behave with each other becomes less civil.” April K. Clark, a Purdue University Political Scientist, told the Guardian.

The poll was conducted last month and done online with 1,227 adults.


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