trust

from the world values survey, 2004-2008 — Could you tell me for each whether you trust people from this group completely, somewhat, not very much or not at all? (i’ve only included the trust completely and somewhat numbers, which i added together.)

People you know personally:

People you meet for the first time:

People of another religion:

the most trusting peoples in the world (surveyed)? = the usual suspects. germanics, anglos, finnish, french. swedes most naive.

the least trusting peoples in the world (surveyed)? = chinese, romanians, peruvians (what’s up with the peruvians?).

italians = not so trusting.

update 11/23: the slitty eye wonders who the chinese respondents who don’t trust people of other religions are. me, too!

the total numbers don’t match, unfortunately, i’m guessing because the same data are not available for each respondent (that’s annoying), but if i include the cross-variable for “respondent’s religion,” we see that overall muslims in china seem to be the most trusting! that is if you add together “trust completely” and “trust a little.” more buddhists “trust completely” than any of the other groups. (i think we can ignore the handful of “orthodox” and “others” — well, all of these numbers are pretty small, so no doubt not significant in any way, shape, or form.):

here’s some info on where the world values surveys were conducted — again, the numbers don’t match. *sigh* according to these numbers, something like 23% of the interviews took place in xinjiang and ningxia, so it seems like we’re talking about a lot of non-han chinese in these surveys:

_____
Selected countries/samples: Andorra [2005], Argentina [2006], Australia [2005], Brazil [2006], Bulgaria [2006], Burkina Faso [2007], Canada [2006], Colombia [2005], Cyprus [2006], Chile [2006], China [2007], Egypt [2008], Ethiopía [2007], Finland [2005], France [2006], Georgia [2008], Germany [2006], Ghana [2007], Great Britain [2006], Guatemala [2004], Hong Kong, China [2005], India [2006], Indonesia [2006], Irak [2006], Iran [2005], Italy [2005], Japan [2005], Jordan [2007], Malaysia [2006], Mali [2007], Mexico [2005], Moldova [2006], Morocco [2007], Netherlands [2006], New Zealand [2004], Norway [2007], Peru [2006], Poland [2005], Romania [2005], Russian Federation [2006], Rwanda [2007], Serbia [2006], Slovenia [2005], South Africa [2007], South Korea [2005], Spain [2007], Sweden [2006], Switzerland [2007], Taiwan [2006], Thailand [2007], Trinidad and Tobago [2006], Turkey [2007], Ukraine [2006], United States [2006], Uruguay [2006], Viet Nam [2006], Zambia [2007]

previously: trust me on this

(note: comments do not require an email. trust.)

22 Comments

  1. It’s probably not very useful to compare the trust levels in Third World countries and Western countries.
    The stark difference in economic structure, religious solidarity and day-to-day lifestyle has more of an effect than anything biological could.

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  2. i wonder why China trust for another religion is so low, we are hard core irreligious, prob the most in the world…. lol wonder what the questionnaires are.

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  3. @the slitty eye – “i wonder why China trust for another religion is so low, we are hard core irreligious, prob the most in the world….”

    yeah, i wondered about that, too. but being irreligious is a sort-of a religious stance, too, so maybe the irreligious chinese don’t trust so much christian chinese people or, say, falun gong members?

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  4. all the high trust countries are abolishing themselves… like high IQ, another sacred cow of HBD bloggers that just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

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  5. re: peru
    i) active civil war between mesos and mestizos and euros fpr, say, 500 years, with the last 30 really pretty “hot”
    ii) was punching bag for chile, bolivia. Basically, the poland of s. america (you read that right, BOLIVIA!)
    iii) current institutions destroyed by drugs/drug war/drug money

    not too dis-similar from, say, colombia, but pretty dis-similar to chile/argentina etc despite physical proximity

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  6. uh … but where do all those come from?

    Does it matter? The fact is that a society of peasants and a society of office workers may have radically different levels of ‘trust’ even if, for example, both are equally predisposed towards ‘trust’, all things being equal.

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  7. @ihtg – “The fact is that a society of peasants and a society of office workers may have radically different levels of ‘trust’ even if, for example, both are equally predisposed towards ‘trust’, all things being equal.”

    of course. circumstances matter. i agree.

    it’s just that you contrasted “economic structure, religious solidarity and day-to-day lifestyle” with biological causes and i happen to think those things are all reflections of our biologies. i’m one of those horrible reductionists, remember? (~_^)

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  8. Let me explain further. Unlike IQ/g, trust isn’t (IMO) an innate personal attribute encoded within one person’s brain. It’s a variable in a man’s interaction with his peers. Its existence depends on that interaction.

    I claim that a society that, for instance, economically depends on people working together a lot will probably ‘cultivate’ trust in its population. I mean, what choice do they have but to trust?

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  9. @bleach – “all the high trust countries are abolishing themselves… like high IQ, another sacred cow of HBD bloggers that just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

    well, both high iq and high trust evolved locally and were great adaptations for those environments. the question is, will they work in a global environment? so far, things are not looking great, i’ll agree with you on that.

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  10. @ihtg – “Unlike IQ/g, trust isn’t (IMO) an innate personal attribute encoded within one person’s brain….”

    i think it is — along with all of our other behavioral traits.

    but i will agree with you that circumstances matter and levels of trust will vary according to them. in good economic times, trust between individuals will likely be pretty high because everyone can afford to be trustful. in bad economic times — or war situations like anonymous describes for peru above (thnx, anonymous!) — of course, trust will go down.

    nevertheless, i’m sure some populations have a higher baseline of innate trust (and other personality features) than others due to the differing evolutionary histories of different populations. europeans have had a much longer time in which to evolve lots o’ “genes for trust” than arabs have, for instance.

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  11. i think it is — along with all of our other behavioral traits.

    Maybe you’re right. I’m trying to explain the disparities in the survey, you see.

    But you know, this is self-reported data, so I’m not sure what it’s worth. I can definitely see Egyptians saying they’d trust any Egyptian Muslim even if they actually don’t.

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  12. @ihtg – “I’m trying to explain the disparities in the survey, you see.”

    yeah, yeah. and you are right. to really compare all these properly you’d have to control for … whatever … poor economies and civil unrest/wars and all that. these figures aren’t really directly comparable. still, they’re interesting, i think.

    @ihtg – “But you know, this is self-reported data, so I’m not sure what it’s worth.”

    yeah, self-reported data is a b*tch. the question is, how else to work out trust within a society? perhaps some researchers have already worked on this? i dunno….

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  13. Anonymous is entirely on target regarding Peru’s level of distrust. Poland of SA, I like that.

    the question is, will they work in a global environment?

    High trust doesn’t even work under (enforced) pluralism. Forget GLOBALISM.

    Also … pretty funny Israel isn’t there. Not included, or suppressed?

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  14. It’s a variable in a man’s interaction with his peers. Its existence depends on that interaction.

    Its existence depends on the brain, first, and context, second.

    Distrust is wise at the mercantile latitudes. It is, or was, bad taste at the northern. Hence anti-racism.

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  15. @uh – “High trust doesn’t even work under (enforced) pluralism.”

    yes, that, too.

    @uh – “Also … pretty funny Israel isn’t there. Not included, or suppressed?”

    israel is included in the 2001 survey. different “trust” questions asked then (do you trust the people in your country? your neighborhood?). no trust data for israel, though. i don’t know why — i probably could drill down through the reports to try and figure out why, but i’ve got other things on my plate this evening (like a GIANT frozen turkey that needs to be de-thawed!).

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  16. Also … pretty funny Israel isn’t there. Not included, or suppressed?

    >_>

    Israel is included in the 2001 survey. different “trust” questions asked then (do you trust the people in your country? your neighborhood?). no trust data for israel, though. i don’t know why

    Perhaps it has something to do with 2001 being the first year of the Second Intifada. That would probably have increased levels of trust, in a way the survey takers perhaps considered “artificial”.

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  17. @ihtg – it frequently happens that not all questions are asked in all countries. to be honest, i don’t even know who conducts the surveys — are they tacked on to national censuses or other surveys? i have no idea. so far, i haven’t picked up on any rhyme or reason why some questions aren’t asked sometimes. there is documentation about the surveys on the world values survey site, but again to be honest, i haven’t looked at it.

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  18. ok. so there appears to be both “core” and “optional” questions on each wvs survey. israel reported that, in 2001, they asked all of the core questions and included a handful of the optional questions (there are a LOT of questions on each survey, so i’m guessing many of them are optional questions). you can see the israeli researchers’ report here — click on 1999-2004 wave and then select israel.

    too late now for me to figure out which questions are core and which are optional. presumably the “trust” questions in the 1999-2004 wave were optional.

    here’s more about the world values survey on wikipedia.

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  19. “yeah, i wondered about that, too. but being irreligious is a sort-of a religious stance, too, so maybe the irreligious chinese don’t trust so much christian chinese people or, say, falun gong members?”

    Falun gong is an explicit cult by any definition… It’s some retarded shit seriously….

    Chinese irreligiosity is really a way of saying we just don’t give a damn about any religion. Muslims, Christians, Buddists, Taoists, they come and go, we just couldn’t care less though. And I think I could speak this one on behalf of majority Chinese. If there’s one thing we worship, that is money…

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  20. “Does it matter? The fact is that a society of peasants and a society of office workers may have radically different levels of ‘trust’ even if, for example, both are equally predisposed towards ‘trust’, all things being equal.”

    I think hbdchick’s thesis says that higher trust is more likely to lead to a society of office workers.

    Reply

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