Instant Improver

Half The British Public Don’t Trust The British Public

Do you think you can trust a stranger in the street? Your neighbour? That chap you see jogging with his dog every Sunday morning?

Around half of you apparently don't. 

At least, not according to the results of NatCen's study on British social attitudes.

Some 48 percent of those surveyed were 'distrustful of others', 'suspicious of strangers' and agreed with the wonderfully curtain-twitching statement: "you can’t be too careful when dealing with people".

We're also a deeply distrustful bunch, trapped in our castles, panicking about whether that man with the ladder is actually a window cleaner or something more sinister: around a third of the survey group (32 percent) thought that, given the chance, people would try to take advantage "all or most of the time".

Don't give up on wider society just yet though - the majority of Britons (57 percent) think that people "would be fair all or most of the time".

One stat that caught us a little by surprise was the finding that wealthier people (e.g. people with more to pinch) are more trusting of strangers than the poorest members of society - which says some pretty horrible things about how the nation is failing to support vulnerable individuals.

"There is a big debate about what it is that underpins trust," explians Rachel Ormston, Head of Social Attitudes at NatCen Social Research. "It does tend to be that people who have been most successful in life tend to be most trusting. The most common explanation offered is that trust is more risky for people who are more socially vulnerable. The overall picture when it comes to trust is pretty much the same in 2014 as in 1998, which goes against the public narrative about how society is going down the pan and nobody is talking to each other anymore."

So, are you inclined to trust total strangers? Let us know...

[Via: NatCen]