Sunday, 24 March 2013

Politicians are still failing to make the grade.

British survey of 1018 adults (pdf).

Question from Ipsos MORI Trust Poll in February
I am going to read out some different types of people. For each, please tell me if you would generally trust them to tell the truth or not.

Trust to tell the truth Do not trust to tell the truthDon't know
%%%
Doctors 8992
Teachers 86113
Scientists 83117
Judges 82135
Television news readers 69247
Clergymen/ priests 66277
Police 65287
Man in the street 642610
Civil servants 53389
Pollsters 503416
Trade union officials 414713
Business leaders 34579
Estate agents 24706
Bankers 21754
Journalists 21727
Politicians 20746


2 comments:

  1. I think it is interesting to contrast the UK results with the thoroughly 'reliable and scientific' Reader's Digest poll that found quite a different group of people to fill the top 16 slots as the most trusted. One difference to note (there is another that is significant that I will point out later) is Reader's Digest don't say on what grounds their rankings are made. It is possibly more on emotive grounds. British poll: (1) Doctors, (2) Teachers, (3) Scientists, (4) Judges. In New Zealand: (1) Firefighters,(2)Paramedics, (3) Rescue Volunteers, (4) Nurses.

    Given that this was a poll on NZ's most trusted professions then the poorly defined group of "rescue volunteers" ought not to be considered. Who exactly are we talking about? Also, even though they maybe very professional in going about their tasks, they are volunteers not professionals. Accepting this would then elevate Nurses in to 3rd position, Pilots into 4th and doctors would then come in at 5th.

    In NZ health professionals fill 2 of the top 4 positions when it comes to ranking the most trusted professional groups, where as in the UK it is only Doctors who appear in the top 4.
    Now, this is where the second difference between these two polls is relevant to point out. The thing to note is that the UK group appears to have bee a preselected group that was to be ranked in order of trustworthiness where as the Reader's Digest poll was possibly more open. It appears to have asked people to rank professions in order of trust worthiness from a much greater selection of professions. It would be interesting to see the results of a more open poll in the UK and the what the rankings for NZ'ers would be for the the same group as was ranked in the UK. I wonder if Judges would rank more highly? That's about the only possible difference I can see might come about in a comparative ranking exercise.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The question was labelled Q9-26 by which I assume each occupation was a question; eg. Q9. Politician, Q10 teacher. So each job could get 0-100% trust. I don't think there was a ranking at the time of interview, they have subsequently been ranked in order. Though you are correct, the occupations are preselected which means firefighters cannot be compared as the Brits weren't asked. Also I think people would answer "trust to tell the truth" versus "trusted profession" differently.

    There will be an error of at least 3% based on the number polled, and biases as well.

    What I think this may show is that professions that are (supposed to be) based on helping others are more trustworthy than those which are perceived to be more self-serving. Or perhaps honest and less honest people gravitate to such professions. Of course politics should be about helping others.

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