Recently, I read a Gallup
survey reporting the views of Americans about ethics and honesty of people in
various professions. In a sense, the findings indicate how much Americans trust
the people in the professions. Nurses won the top spot at 84% "very high" ratings—they have been #1 for 15 years in a row. Clergy are in the middle at
44% and Members of Congress at the bottom of their list at 8%.
Read the survey for more details of this 2017
I was surprised by the clergy data. And found another survey, which produced
similar results in the UK. The Ipsos
poll reported that school-age children highly trusted doctors to tell
the truth (88%). But clergy came in at 46%, which is below Scientists at 53%.
Levels of trust can vary. And trust can be defined in different ways.
How do you measure trust?
I found two short trust scales at the Fetzer organization, which are
available in a pdf document (see below). You will find references to studies in addition to
a description of the scales.
The General Trust
was developed by Yamagishi (1986). It uses a 5-item Likert type
rating scale where 1 = Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree.
1.) Most people are basically honest.
2.) Most people are trustworthy.
The scale is score by adding the items together.
The 5-item Trust Scale
is also available and rated on the
same 5-item Likert-type scale of agreement.
1.) Most people tell a lie when they can benefit by doing
2.) Those devoted to unselfish causes are often exploited by
Following is a link to the Fetzer document where you can download
the measures and research summaries.
Learn more about Creating
Surveys, including many free items
Some readers may find this reference guide helpful. It is recommended for first year graduate students in counseling programs.