In experts we trust... again?

People may not have had enough of experts after all.

Contrary to British MP Michael Gove’s oft-quoted assertion, the general population increasingly considers voices of authority to be credible sources of information, after years of predominately relying on their peers. This is one of many surprising findings with far-reaching implications for communicators from the 18th annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a global study of the state of public trust in government, business, media and non-governmental organisations.

In the study of 33,000 people across 28 markets, trust in “a person like yourself” dropped six points to an all-time low, while trust in experts like academics, financial analysts and technical experts increased. Even trust in CEOs rose by seven points globally and eight points across the European Union,* after years of skepticism about the C-suite.

To read more insights from the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, read Michael stewart and Deanna Tlalon's article in the latest issue of Communication Director.

Image: Thinkstock

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