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Persuasion

Charting the Trust Deficit in Leaders and Institutions

We’re increasingly skeptical of many of the people and places providing our information, according to new research from Edelman.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Photo illustration: 731: Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Since 2012, Edelman, a Chicago-based public-relations company, has been asking people around the world whom they trust—and whom they don’t. The results from Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer show more things in the latter category than the former. Faith in media is at an all-time low. Trust in companies has declined across all sectors, falling furthest in technology, fashion, and automotive, as well as among all types of societal leaders, especially scientists and community figures. Scientists do remain among the most trusted leaders, with 73% of the survey’s 33,000 respondents expressing confidence in them, whereas government leaders are the least trusted authorities, at only 41%. Here’s a closer look at the survey’s findings: