Recent research suggests that interpersonal trust is important in facilitating everything from economic wealth to successful democracy. In this study, I will examine the extent to which variations in interpersonal trust in nations around the globe correlate with the trust levels of Americans who claim to be descendants from those countries. To find these correlations, I used two widely respected databases called the General Social Surveys (GSS) and the World Value Surveys (WVS). In these surveys, respondents were asked whether or not most people could be trusted. The question was given to approximately 30,000 Americans and to people in forty different nations. From this data, I devised aggregate trust scores of the respondents of both surveys and compared them. I found that the aggregate trust scores of contemporary citizens from the 40 nations were related to the aggregate trust scores of the Americans who claimed to have ancestors from those nations. This would suggest that interpersonal trust might be passed on through ethnic cultures, despite being uprooted and moved across oceans and time.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©2000 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Lockie, Christopher K.
"Trust from Europe to America,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 4:
1, Article 19.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol4/iss1/19