Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


This paper will discuss how the American people’s trust in their government can vary depending on different sociopolitical factors, and how the government could take advantage of this information. Through extensive research of literature reviews on previous findings as well as analysis of 2012 ANES data, I discover that the American public responds negatively to their government with an increased perception of corruption and overall disregard to the needs of the people. I will also add to the common literature by utilizing other scholarly works that demonstrate how these explanations behind distrust in government can be used to potentially improve its standing. Such factors frequently discussed by scholars on the subject include, but are not limited to, controversial political events throughout U.S. history that affect trust in government to varying degrees, race, gender, level of education, and age. Gathering data from these sources will explain how the previously mentioned factors influence levels of trust in the government. I hypothesize that the data and literature reviews will show a negative correlation between these factors and how likely the public is to trust the government. Thus, this research will give a more cohesive account on public opinion of the federal government and how correctly understanding and using such information could potentially change the public’s views.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.