Investigating Australians’ trust: findings from a national survey.
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Trust has been identified as an indicator within Social Quality theory. As an important component of social quality, trust has become increasingly important in modern society because literature suggests that trust in a number of democratic countries is declining. Modern technologies and specialties are often beyond the understanding of lay individuals and thus, the need for trusting relations between lay individuals and organisations/individuals has grown. The purpose of the study was to examine the extent to which Australians (dis)trust individuals and organisations/institutions. A national postal survey was conducted with 1044 respondents recruited using the electronic white pages directory. Findings from multivariate analyses suggest that income, age, sex, and health status are associated with trust in groups of individuals and trust in organisations/institutions. The findings highlight populations where trust needs to be (re)built. Future government policy and practice should utilise these findings as a means of facilitating social quality.