Social Indicators Research

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 325–349 | Cite as

The Meaning of Trust for Brazilians with Higher Education

  • Jakson Alves de AquinoEmail author


The validity of the World Values Survey (WVS) question used to measure trust is disputed over and this article is intended to present the results of an online survey, conducted in Brazil, which tested the meaning of the term trust in the WVS question. The surveyed population is entirely Brazilian and the majority has received some form of higher education. The results of the survey partially corroborate the validity of the WVS and partially deny it. Within the results of this survey there are predominantly two dominant perspectives represented within the surveyed population including: respondents who think in friends and relatives as part of most people have a higher probability of also saying to trust most people which means that different people may be answering slightly different questions. However, respondents who say that trust most people have higher levels of trust in people in general than in family if compared with respondents who say to not trust most people which is in accordance with the expectation that the question adequately measures generalized interpersonal trust.


Trust Question validity World Values Survey 



I am grateful to all respondents who have answered the questionnaire, and I am especially grateful to Camila Maria Cunha de Souza, FUNCAP undergraduate researcher fellow, who helped me to develop and administer the questionnaire, and to an anonymous reviewer whose many suggestions allowed me to significantly improve the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil

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