Celebs Americans Say They Trust: Test Your Reaction
Who do you think is the least favorite actor on American television? Read on to see whether you guessed correctly.
Bear in mind that only a sample group of 1,009 Americans were polled in order to compile the list.
The research was a joint project of Reader’s Digest and the Wagner Group, a national research marketing company. The purpose was to provide an understanding of how trust instinct influences the American culture; to help determine which individuals Americans trust, and the ideals these individuals represent. The results were reported in the June 2013 magazine and online issues of Reader’s Digest.
Individuals were presented with a list of 200 people from 15 categories (listed below), and requested to rank them on a scale from 1 (not at all trustworthy) to 5 (most trustworthy). Qualities rated were:
- Integrity and character
Exceptional talent and drive for personal excellence
Internal moral compass
Below are 10 facts gathered from the results of the poll. Test your reaction to the selection of people Americans trust. See how your opinions measure up to those of the sample individuals who influenced the list.
The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.
— - Francois de La Rochefoucauld
- (1) The three highest scorers for the people’s trust were individuals whom they knew personally, as against public figures.
Personal doctor (77%)
Personal spiritual adviser (71%)
Current child’s teacher (66%)
- (2) TV doctors rated higher than doctors who are bestselling authors but do not host TV shows.
Dr. Memet Oz and Dr. Sunjay Gupta were among the highest scorers.
- (3) Judge Judy (51%) scored higher than all other judges on the list, including all nine Supreme Court justices.
Robert Thompson, founder and director of Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture thinks it might have something to do with the fact that Judge Judy is so visible—seen everyday more than a Supreme Court Justice or the President.
- (4) Tom Hanks (65%) scored highest among males.
Experts on the relationship between traits and trust think that his face shape gives him a biological advantage.
- (5) Sandra Bullock (63%) scored highest among women.
People may have been influenced by the way she dealt with her cheating husband and her adoption of a child.
- (6) Robin Roberts, cohost of Good Morning America is the most trusted woman on television.
Americans may have been inspired by her battle and recovery over myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
- (7) Tom Cruise (27%) scored the least among male stars.
Joan Stewart, founder of Publicity Hound suggests three reasons that people do not consider Cruise trustworthy: his ties with the Church of Scientology, his criticism of Brooke Shields for using antidepressants and his jumping on Oprah’s couch.
- (8) Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates made the top ten even though financial and business leaders categories ranked in the bottom third.
His generous contribution of more than $36 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is widely known. The foundation supports education and health initiatives, two issues which are dear to the heart of the American people.
- (9) Michelle Obama (53%) outscored all politicians on the list, including her husband.
Her reputation of fighting childhood obesity and advocating for military wives may have influenced the results.
- (10) The fifteen categories which were polled are listed here in the order they ranked from most to least trusted:
(iii) Movie Stars
(v) Spiritual leaders
(viii) Talk show hosts
(x) Professional sport stars
(xi) Business leaders
(xii) Financial experts
(xiii) National political leaders
(xiv) Political pundits
Ten Motivational Quotes from People Americans Trust
We may be surprised by the results of the poll but not that some of them offer great motivational messages.
- Learning from our mistakes and holding on to our memories help us become deeper individuals with a better sense of who we are and how we choose to live our lives. - Ron Clark, founder, The Ron Clark Academy
- Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward. - Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state
- The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. - Maureen Dowd, columnist, New York Times
- The essence of the American dream is the understanding that we are here on this earth and in this land for a higher purpose: to discover and develop to the fullest our God-given potential. Anything that stands in the way of the dream, we must fight. Anything that enhances the dream, we must support. – Steve Forbes, CEO, Forbes Media
- I'm an optimist. I've read the last page of the Bible. – Billy Graham, evangelical minister
- We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark. – Whoopi Goldberg, actress
- The case for freedom, the case for our constitutional principles the case for our heritage has to be made anew in each generation. The work of freedom is never done. - Anthony M. Kennedy, Supreme Court justice
- A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things. - Barack Obama, President of the United States
- Don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. – Michele Obama, First Lady USA
- A less formal practice—and one that I follow—is to devote a few moments of my morning meditation session to feel and silently give thanks for all of the good things in my life. - Andrew Weil, MD, author of Spontaneous Healing
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