Reader’s Digest and research firm The Wagner Group polled 1,000 Americans to find out who was considered trustworthy. The poll compiled a list of more than 200 “opinion shapers and headline makers from 15 highly influential professions” and asked participants to rank each person’s trustworthiness. The poll defined “trust” as “earned with a person’s integrity and character, exceptional talent and drive, internal moral compass, message, honesty and leadership.”
NFL player Tim Tebow and Rev. Billy Graham made the list, as did former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Topping the list was Academy award-winning actors Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Professor and poet Maya Angelou, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates also made the top 10 most trusted.
When asked who they trusted in general, most Americans said they had the most confidence in their doctors (77 percent), spiritual advisors (71 percent) and their children’s teachers (66 percent).
Pollsters called the results “revealing,” “hopeful,” “surprising,” and “shocking.” According to The Christian Post, Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief and chief content officer Liz Vaccariello commented, “While the list showed what Americans think about those they see regularly in the news, on television and in movies, our poll also revealed that we put our trust in do-gooders, that tweets do not always equal trust, and that we trust people we know more than anyone famous.”