📈 Banking on Trust

Each month Gradient surveys 1,000 Americans—this is what they have to say

Welcome to Trendlines!

We have a confession: As much as we love data, without the proper context, data isn’t very useful. For example, while technically true, the data-backed insight that “most dogs are illiterate” is not useful without proper context. This is why Gradient specializes in providing context with our data. For example, most books aren’t written for dogs.

In this edition, we help contextualize:

  • America’s deep-seated trust issues with companies.

  • Whether caregivers are getting enough care.

  • If gender plays a role in why your boss won’t let you wear a spacesuit on casual Fridays.

Enjoy reading.


Banking on Trust

Trust is the foundation of love and safety. It’s shaped by our early childhood experiences and impacts our satisfaction with life, as trust is tightly correlated with happiness.

The importance of trust is best summarized by the great poet Drake (aka Drizzy; aka Champagne Papi; aka Heartbreak Drake): Oh, whoa, trust issues.

Whoa indeed, Drake. While it’s important to know who we can trust with our hearts, in today’s world, it’s arguably more important to know who we can trust with our data. To find out which organizations Americans trust to keep their data safe and secure and which are making us feel a collective “whoa,” we turned to our trusty MaxDiff experiment.

Americans appear to trust organizations with the most financial liability for misusing their data: Medical providers and banks.

Social media platforms are collectively the least trusted organizations. Due to rumors (and some evidence) that user data is accessible by the Chinese government, Americans trust TikTok the least to keep their data safe. If the Chinese government knows exactly how many strangely satisfying power-washing videos we watch a day, what is stopping them from taking over the world!?

Americans have yet to warm up to artificial intelligence, as OpenAI is the second-least trusted organization. While OpenAI hasn’t had any major data breaches yet, the sheer thought of the world knowing that ChatGPT is our new best friend is clearly scary enough to warrant skepticism.

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Feel the Burn(out)

Medical procedural dramas from ER to Grey’s Anatomy will lead you to believe that when you get sick or hurt in America, you go to the hospital for care (if you can afford it). Now, no one is saying you shouldn’t go to the hospital if you contract the bubonic plague or get impaled by a tree, but we can’t help noticing that our media prioritizes out-of-home caregiving for the sick and, especially, the elderly. 

In contrast with cultures and countries where a family unit might live together and collectively care for each other, only 14% of Americans currently care for a family member (who is not their child) in a full-time or support role. For reference, that’s low enough to match the percentage of adults who said they were “very happy” during the height of the pandemic. 

Among Americans caring for someone, the most common caregiver role is caring for a parent or step-parent (32%), followed by a spouse (22%). This data probably won’t surprise tired members of the current sandwich generation, those lucky folks raising kids while also raising hell about why dad is still driving at his age.

It looks like some caregivers are practicing much-needed self-care (or plain ol’ good boundaries), since very few indicate that their caregiving frequently interferes with their leisure, work, or relationships. In contrast, 40% say they sometimes feel exhausted or burned out, and a whopping 87% of caregivers mention they’d like some form of government support for their caregiving activities. Hey, it’s an election year, anything can happen, right? Looking at you Biden, unless you want Hunter to be in charge of your medical decisions.

Want to see the data? Curious about the methodology? Just reply to this email.


Skyrocketing Corporate Culture

We’ve all heard the old saying: “Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.” What you never hear is what the labor conditions are like on each planet, and with Elon Musk promising that we’ll all be living on Mars, it seems like a good time to find out. That’s why, to determine which planet we’d prefer to live (and work) on, we asked Americans whether they believe men or women are better at implementing various aspects of corporate leadership.

The good news is the majority of Americans think both men and women are equally as good at implementing all aspects of corporate leadership. However, there are some leadership areas where men or women rated significantly higher than the opposite sex. Americans rated women as better than men in nine out of thirteen leadership practices. Men were rated better in a few fields, specifically firing people (30% vs 9% of women), negotiating profitable business deals (21% vs 10% of women), and maximizing profit margins (19% vs 9% of women). We promise the sample had men in it!

In a vacuum, Venus over Mars seems like an easy choice until you have the context that, while the corporate culture is better, the clouds on Venus are made of sulfuric acid.

That’s a wrap, folks

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About Gradient

In a continuously changing world, intuition isn't enough. To address this, Gradient partners with startups, Fortune 100 brands, consulting firms, and political campaigns who aren’t confident answering strategic and directional questions. Through our partnership we help these organizations achieve objective clarity by providing custom and actionable insights based on statistical rigor. Want to learn more? Visit our website!

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