Do Strangers Trust Strangers? Perceived Generalized Trust of Fellow Citizens As an Indicator of Social Capital
The idea of the study is to analyze the perceived generalized trust of fellow citizens for the first time with a representative national survey data. The data come from the welfare and services survey (HYPA) gathered in 2013 in Finland (N=4,226). In the questionnaire, the Finns were asked whether they think that “People trust each other in our society” with a Likert scale item. Besides correlations and descriptive statistics, we apply logistic and linear regression models with average marginal effects as the methods. Our results show that generalized trust operationalized in this way produces different results compared with the standard measures of generalized trust. For example, the association with the institutional trust is stronger and with the civic engagement weaker. The theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.