A survey published in October 2021 revealed that doctors and scientists are one of the most trusted people in the world. Most people choose to trust an ordinary person over an esteemed professional, such as lawyers and judges, and even priests.
The study conducted by the French Institut de Publique Sondage d’Opinion Secteur (IPSOS Group) was titled the Global Trustworthy Index 2021. The results of the survey also tell the story of people being forced to judge people based on their professions.
Before delving into the statistic, it is interesting to analyze the following tweet. A noteworthy observation here is that a human gets only a few hours in a lifetime for personal development. We end up spending most of our hours figuring out the logistics of our stay on this planet. This pie depiction may not apply to everyone, but it surely gives a rough idea of how much actual time we get to spend on ourselves.
Life in a pie pic.twitter.com/sB2tKZOYDd
— Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy) March 15, 2022
The lifespan in the pie chart is 85 years. Based on this calculation, let us say that if someone were to live for 100 years, they would only get to spend roughly 28 percent of their total hours, which is 876,000 on some meaningful adult time.
To begin with, most of our childhood and young adulthood is spent worrying about a career. Apart from all the social pressure, there’s also the consideration of chasing after one’s dreams and aspirations. For instance, if a child has always wanted to become a medical professional, then they will live their life in the pursuit of that dream. And if they are not able to achieve that goal, then they might even start living that dream through other people’s professional experiences or through their children.
It is not truly possible to know the exact reason behind laying one’s trust in someone. Since COVID-19 hit, the collective thought has shifted from “me” to “we”. Based on IPSOS’s survey, they found that 72 percent of people across the G20 countries want societies to be “more resilient for future shocks” and also want to see a change post-pandemic “rather than revert to the status quo.” People are also blaming the governments and businesses for climate change, but most people blame themselves for the catastrophe.
This time around, most governments did poorly in tackling the pandemic and businesses exploited people for money. “With COVID-19, it’s your neighbor, it’s somebody in your family, it’s a real threat. Climate change is still seen as something a long way away and nothing to do with ‘me'”, the report writes on behalf of the surveyed people.
There is a saying in Sanskrit, which is “ekam jeevanam, eka avsara” which translates to you only get one opportunity in a lifetime, so you either make it or break it. Anthropologically speaking, people lay more trust in their own people like their kin and next of kin, than the outsiders. Based on human evolutionary theories and psychology, societies can easily differentiate the in-group from the out-group but will take this analysis to the grave. This differentiation happens from the base level. That includes neighbors, cousins, friends, and school, to the extreme levels of disliking other states, countries, and anything that is not familiar or is unknown.
So this breach of trust by the perceived outsiders has brought people closer. People are clearly able to see the mismanagement of the world through a number of events such as racial discrimination, poor mental health diagnosis, and governments attacking their citizens. This has put journalists, bankers, ad executives, government ministers, and politicians in the least trusted category. These are also the bottom five of the least trusted professions in our society.
The most trusted professions in the world are:
- ‘Ordinary’ people
- Armed forces
The least trusted jobs in the world are:
- Ad execs
- Government ministers
- Politicians generally
This is just a global average of people’s beliefs, and it differs significantly across regions. For instance, the global average of not trusting politicians is minus 52 percent. It is also contrasting to see the trust people have in the police. The same country that distrusts its governments has even lower expectations from the police. The US is one of the top five countries that trust the police while countries such as Poland, Russia, and India do not. South Africa, South Korea, Columbia, France, and Mexico relatively have the least faith in their police.
While there might be a significant difference in the professions people trust across the globe, except for China, the common group that people trust the least is the journalists, which is way below the trust in TV newsreaders. While Russia, Poland, and India have maximum faith in ordinary people over most professionals, globally as well, except Korea, the view is quite similar.
The ‘global trustworthy trends’ have pretty much remained the same since 2018, except the top three – professions doctors, scientists, and teachers – have seen a significant increase in trust, especially during the pandemic. The police and the armed forces still hold less than 45 percent of the global trust.
The global trustworthiness list, based on individual countries, reveals that Malaysia, India, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the US, and Great Britain still trust most professions of their society. Meanwhile, Poland, South Africa, Hungary, Mexico, South Korea, Chile, and Columbia, among others, do not trust most professions of their society but lay supreme faith in their inner circles.
In my opinion, the most trusted group during this era of moving towards post-pandemic is the internet. We’ve come to rely more on the Internet for how we work, but also for being a doctor, teacher, or scientist for us. Search engines have become so efficient that if you know the authentic source to retrieve information from, you will save up on so many unnecessary trips one needs to make to a hospital or school. That doesn’t mean that the information we see is necessarily trustworthy or completely accurate with the rampant spread of fake news and the unease over cybersecurity, all of which and more contribute to the growing concern of technophobia.
There might be several differences across nations, states, and cities, but there is one thing that people have learned so far: they can put more faith in people than professionals. They have also learned that not all professions are bad. People are also learning to unlearn some unhealthy behaviors and are more hooked on receiving information from the internet.
Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Sergey Nivens. The infographic in the body of the article is owned by Statista.