Trust in core institutions—government, media, corporations, the
military—is central to the functioning of American society. Worryingly,
polling data from multiple organizations reveal sizable decreases
among the American public in trust of such institutions over the past
two decades. Because of the continuing pandemic in 2020, building
trust in these same institutions has taken on new importance—to
ensure that people seek out and heed guidance on how to protect
themselves and their families.
This report contributes to the existing understanding of trust in
institutions by presenting and implementing a more comprehensive
approach for assessing institutional trust.