Comment Of The Day (1): “Public Confidence And Trust (1): Observations On Gallup’s Trust In Occupations Poll”

My post on the Gallup poll on public trust in various occupations and professions strayed into Charles Green’s wheelhouse, and the resulting home run comment enlightened us regarding why nurses keep “winning” the poll as the most trusted year after year after year.

Here is Charlie’s Comment of the Day on the post, Public Confidence And Trust (1): Observations On Gallup’s Trust In Occupations Poll:

Speaking just to the nursing angle: my work on trust has involved a diagnostic tool, the TQ (Trust Quotient), a self-assessment of the four components of trustworthiness in the Trust Equation:
(Credibilty + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation.

70,000 people have taken it, and three results stand out above all others.

First, women are more trustworthy than men – a finding confirmed by informal polls in 397 out of 400 groups I’ve presented in front of.

Second, the most powerful factor of the four (defined as the highest coefficient in a regression equation) is Intimacy.

Third, the bulk of women’s outscoring men is their higher score on the Intimacy factor (again, intuitively true to the vast majority of groups I ask).

It’s in this context that I note the Gallup work (and other pollsters) finding of nursing at the top of the heap every year but 2002 (which was, not coincidentally, the year after 9/11 – and a year in which firemen, if only for that one year, took over the top spot.

Nursing is an 89% female profession. I ask my audiences, “Which of the four trustworthiness factors do you think nurses most embody: credibility, reliability, intimacy, or low self-orientation?” Most pick intimacy (with low self-orientation a frequent second).

Add ’em up: female, Intimacy, nursing – it’s a trifecta. Continue reading


Diligence. Integrity. Responsibility. Reliability. Trustworthiness

Pete Rose may have been a fool who  gambled on baseball, but he never, ever, failed to run hard to first base.

Pete Rose may have been a fool who gambled on baseball, but he never, ever, failed to run hard to first base.

The Washington Nationals’ blossoming star outfielder Bryce Harper provided a graphic lesson in the importance of these ethical values in the breach of them last night, when his lapse of character on the field contributed to a loss D.C.’s struggling major league baseball team could ill-afford.

The Nats have been one of the baseball season’s greatest disappointments. A team that had the best record of all last season and was widely favored to be a World Series contender, it has barely won more games than it has lost, and is hopelessly trailing the Atlanta Braves for the National League East championship. A wild card berth in this season’s play-offs also looked like a futile hope, until a recent winning streak and a flash of 2012 brilliance allowed fans to dream of a thrilling late-season comeback. It is possible, but time is running out, and every game counts. To have any chance, the Nats have to win games like last night’s against the sub-par Mets.

With the Mets leading 3-2, Washington had mounted a two-out rally, and had runners on first and second base. Harper, the team’s youngest, most exciting and most talented player was up at bat,  but he bounced an easy ground ball to the Mets second baseman. Clearly disgusted with his failure to come though in the clutch, Harper merely jogged to first base. If he had run hard, which was his trademark last season when Harper’s energy and enthusiasm made him an instant fan favorite, he would have reached first base safely, loading the bases, for the fielder unexpectedly booted the ball. But because Harper was loafing, the second baseman had time to recover and throw to first for the out. It was the last chance the Nationals had to tie the score, and they lost a game that the team needed to win. Continue reading

Wikipedia Ethics

An article in the Chronicle Of Higher Education serves as a stark lesson in how policies, procedures and bureaucracy can warp an organization’s purpose and lead to self-destructive conduct that injures stakeholders and destroys trust. The entity at issue: Wikipedia. And now we know why, despite the immense growth and improvement in the web’s community encyclopedia, it still can’t be trusted….and may never be trustworthy.

Historian and researcher Timothy Messer-Kruse tells of his decade-long effort to correct misinformation in Wikipedia relating to the Haymarket riot and subsequent trial in 1886, a landmark episode in the social, political and labor history of America. Messer-Kruse discovered that the entry included an outright error that had become standard in the historical accounts, but that he had personally proven was false through meticulous research. But Wikipedia wasn’t interested in accuracy: Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: CNN

Eliot Spitzer, disgraced New York Governor, law-breaking lawyer, spectacularly unfaithful husband and hypocrite for the ages, is just perfect, in CNN’s eyes, for trenchant and probing news commentary. He will be co-hosting a new talking head show on the network, partnered with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who as far as we know hasn’t operated any prostitution rings, not that it would matter to CNN.

Thus will the venerable cable news network adopt the strategy that has worked so well for Fox News and too many other media organizations: find infamous people who have thoroughly humiliated themselves and betrayed those who have trusted them—individuals who by all principles of justice and fairness deserve to be relegated to permanent obscurity until they have proven by hard work, good deeds and appropriate contrition, that they may again be worthy of trust—and give exposure, celebrity and employment to these anti-role models rather than to any of the large number of more deserving, talented, honest, reliable and admirable professionals who are available and capable. Continue reading