FOX NEWS — The American public has become increasingly skeptical of people’s ability to access knowledge.
A new survey finds that, on average, people in the United States believe only about 35 percent of people in their social circle have “some level of knowledge” about a topic.
“In the absence of reliable sources of knowledge, we tend to believe that information is limited or unreliable,” the Pew Research Center said in a press release announcing the results of its new study.
As a result, “we tend to rely on the experience of others, or on what we have learned from others, and this has led to distrust in the abilities of those with knowledgeable experiences to help us,” the researchers said.
“When it comes to access to information, Americans have become more skeptical of the ability of others to have a positive influence on their lives, and the lack of trust in the ability to assist them.”
While Americans have grown more skeptical over the past five years, they are still less trusting of the abilities and knowledge of their peers, according to the researchers.
And that distrust has remained relatively steady over the last five years.
The new study found that, overall, Americans trust their peers to be more knowledgeable, but only about 17 percent say they trust their parents to have that level of information.
The survey of 1,002 adults also found that Americans trust teachers more, but just 17 percent of Americans say they can trust their teachers to be knowledgeable.
And just 13 percent of American adults say their parents can be trusted to give them information on things like climate change and food safety.
A survey from the National Center for Education Statistics also found a similar pattern.
Americans’ distrust of parents’ knowledge is especially high among students.
Americans say that only about 33 percent of students are capable of “some amount of information about the world and about the people in it,” while only 13 percent say the same for their parents.