"Every year I'm fascinated to see just how stable public trust is in the occupations in the public's eye. Yet to see the media listen to the commentators on radio and television, you'd think that trust in institutions is declining sharply ..."
Sir Robert Worcester
Doctors still top the poll as the professionals that the public trust most. An Ipsos MORI survey commissioned by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) shows that doctors come out first when the public is asked whom they generally trust to tell the truth. The annual poll indicates that nine in ten adults say they trust doctors to tell the truth.
Ipsos MORI asked almost 2,000 adults in Great Britain to say whether they generally trusted 16 different types of people to tell the truth or not. Ninety per cent of the public said they trusted doctors to tell the truth. Doctors were closely followed by teachers (86%), professors (78%), judges (78%) and clergymen / priests (73%) completing the top five. At the other end of the scale, only about one in five adults trusts government ministers to tell the truth, while journalists and politicians in general shared the lowest ranking with just 18% trusting each of them to tell the truth; 76% did not trust politicians in general to tell the truth, which was the highest score at this category.
Doctors have topped the list of most trusted professionals every year since the poll began in 1983 including one year (1993) when they were joint first with teachers.
- The poll was conducted for the RCP by Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute.
- A representative quota sample of 1,981 adults in Great Britain, aged 16 and over, was interviewed face-to-face in their homes, between 15 and 22 November 2007 in 210 sampling points, using CAPI methodology.
- Data have been weighted to the known profile of the GB population.
Q1 Now I will read you a list of different types of people. For each would you tell me if you generally trust them to tell the truth, or not?
Base: 1,981 respondents aged 16+.across Great Britain
|Tell the truth||Not tell the truth||Don't know|
|Clergy / priests||73||17||10|
|TV news readers||61||27||12|
|The ordinary man / woman in the street||52||33||15|
|Trade union officials||38||45||17|
|Politicians in general||18||76||6|