Lighter Side: Lawyers as trustworthy as prostitutes

by NZ Lawyer03 Oct 2014
A new study undertaken by Princeton academics has concluded that lawyers are about as trusted as prostitutes.

Two academics set about investigating how scientists are perceived compared to other professions, only to have some interesting results arise.

The research paper was subsequently peer-reviewed and published by the US National Academy of Sciences, reports RollOnFriday.

It theorises that trust and respect must be based on perceptions of warmth and competence, and to test it the authors asked 116 people to rate a whole raft of professions on these qualities.

The pair then made the results into this handy chart:

The top right is the “pride” corner, which indicated professionals whom are both trusted and respected. On the other hand, the bottom left is the “contempt” corner, where “ambivalently perceived high-competence, low warmth ‘envied’ professions” call home.

Lawyers, although scoring extremely highly on the competence value (above accountants, bankers and CEOs), didn’t fare so well when it comes to affection.

In fact, those surveyed think only prostitutes are less caring.

But you can rest easy knowing that the authors, Susan Fiske and Cydney Dupree, don’t actually think that being cold and envied is a problem… “Until one recalls that communicator credibility requires not just status and expertise (competence) [but also] trustworthiness (warmth)”.