Real Happiness

Do you trust people?

Step Dancing at the Blaxhall Ship c.1950.
Step Dancing
at the Blaxhall Ship c.1950
In 1959, 56% of Britons said that most people could be trusted. By 1998 this had fallen to 30%.

A decline in trust has led to people becoming less happy. In material terms we are richer than ever before. Perhaps we have too much as instances of mental illness, depression and fear of crime are also at an all time high.

People’s happiness depends on the quality of their relationships. The context of these relationships is the community –friends and neighbours, the places where you work, live and shop.

Recently, social scientists have been keen to understand the characteristics of communities with high levels of trust and ‘social capital’.

This diagram shows the different elements which are found in communities with high levels of trust.

DIagram showing the mix of things that leads to communities having high levels of trust

This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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