Those Who Are Suspicious Of Strangers May Face An Early Death

If you’re trusting by nature, that’s actually a good thing. Scientists at Stockholm University looked at nationally representative data from the US General Social Survey (GSS) and compared it to data from the National Death Registry (NDI.) They found trusting people had a 17 percent lower risk of early death compared to those who were apprehensive about strangers. In the U.S. the least-trusting people could be found in the South (specifically Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee) where 27 percent said most people can be trusted, and the most trusting region was the west north central (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri) where 49 percent said most people can be trusted. This was followed by New England (47% said they trust strangers), and the mountainous Southwest (where 44% trust strangers.) The theory is that compared to distrusters, trusters may be better able to mobilize social support from network contacts and their wider communities.