America full of mistrust

Published: Tuesday | December 3, 2013 Comments 0

AP: Do you keep a close watch when you hand over your credit card?

Assume the other fellow on the road is texting or drunk?

Worry that a careless post will be spread by your Facebook friends?

If so, you're not alone.

Americans are a mistrustful bunch.

Nearly two-thirds say you can't be too careful in dealing with people, according to the General Social Survey, a massive survey of Americans conducted regularly since 1972 with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Seventy-eight per cent have little faith in people they meet while traveling, saying they trust them "just somewhat," "not too much" or "not at all." Nineteen per cent don't worry, they feel "quite a bit" or "a great deal" of trust in people away from home. Adults under 30 are especially wary of strangers, just like mom said.

Seventy-five per cent mistrust people driving cars while they're driving, biking or walking. Twenty-one per cent put a lot of faith in others behind the wheel. Those 30 and under worry more about bad drivers than their elders do.

Sixty-seven per cent have little confidence in people who swipe their credit or debit card when they buy something. Thirty per cent don't worry much about that.


Fifty-five per cent don't much trust the people they hire to come into their homes to do work. Forty-one per cent feel confident opening the door to them. Gun owners worry less about inviting workers into their homes than other Americans do.

Fifty per cent have little trust in the people who prepare their food when they eat out. About as many, 47 per cent, chow down with ease, however. Wealthy Americans, with household incomes over $100,000, are less likely than most to fret about the restaurants where they dine.

Forty six per cent have little confidence in people at the doctor's office or hospital who have access to their medical records. But more, 50 per cent, don't sweat it. Doctors and their staff were the most trusted group in the poll.

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