Measurement of General Trust：A Cross-National Analysis
- Today, it has been observed that interpersonal levels of trust are declining among many industrialized nations thus calling for greater attention and concern. Trust is an important subject for many research fields, including sociology, economics, political science, psychology, philosophy, morality, and ethics. But, trust seems often to be considered as intrinsic rather than a topic for empirical or theoretical exploration. The present study examines the measurement validity of a three-item general trust scale（“Three-Item Rosenberg Scale”）used frequently in general attitudinal surveys. If trust is interpreted not only as an interpersonal phenomenon but also as a social and cultural phenomenon, then how does general trust differ among nations? Specifically, this paper seeks to determine if the three questions assessing levels of interpersonal trust are scalable among nations in general, by investigating their validity when used in nations in differing world regions with differing trust levels and differing cultural backgrounds. Data were collected based on nationwide attitudinal surveys of general trust conducted among eight nations: Russia, Japan, the United States, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Taiwan, and Turkey, all selected based on their overall World Values Surveys trust indices. They form four groups: high trust: Finland; relatively high trust: Japan, the U.S., Germany, and Taiwan; middle trust: Russia and the Czech Republic; and low trust: Turkey. Crosstabulations and correspondence analyses were conducted. Results indicated that the Three-Item Likert trust scale can be used for all eight nations, regardless of differences in their languages, cultural backgrounds and trust levels, and that the first dimension（i.e., the X-axis）, based on correspondence analysis, creates a trust scale for the eight nations.
社会科学研究所年報, 第19号/2014年度, pp.47-64