'Is it age or generation that makes older people more trusting?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • I am in my mid 40s and grew up being taught to trust institutions. For me, the idea that we should critically evaluate the claims of corporations and authorities is a relatively new one. Perhaps this started when the ease with which Robert Maxwell and others raided corporate pension funds became apparent! So I would say that healthy scepticism is cultural (I came to this country in my my teens) and generational.
  • I am in my 70s and taught media studies at Regional College to 16-19-year-olds in the mid/late 1980s.

    At that time the entire group could not differentiate between editorial and advertisements in print media. It was their parents' generation - the 1960s 'baby boomers' that I feel were responsible for that situation.

    On the other hand my father, born at the end of the Edwardian period, had dealt with money and credit for most of his working life. He left me with a valuable legacy - knowledge and awareness.

    Trust/Distrust is not a generational matter but more a case of individual nurture.
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I don't think it can be age Paloma.
    I've grown up always trusting people. I'm honest. I don't lie to people. So i've always thought if you're nice to people and do nothing to hurt people they'll be nice back. But with age i see now that just isn't so. I look back now and realise just how many times i've been ripped off or conned, i still think i'm nice to people but a little more cautious over being to trusting.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    With some older people, needing company is the big thing, so even a salesman will do.
    And pensioners have time to give, so maybe comes over as more trusting to busy folk.
    iAMaLONDONER Posts: 1,669 Forumite
    It depends on where you live really.

    As a Londoner (big surprise!) I've (and most of my fellow Londoners) have learnt to be cynical and suspicious of all strangers and assume the worst until you know better. With good reason - considering the pickpockets which stalk Westminster (central London rather than the politicians but maybe I could just call it a double entendre!)
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
    First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 24 October 2014 at 10:46PM
    *falls out of bed laughing and nearly breaks hip*

    War generation? What on earth are you waffling about m'dear? There are far too few of those who 'pulled together' during WW2 left to be able to give a statistically sensible answer.
    When it comes to trust, the gormless and witless have always been with us, and always will be. Nowt to do with age.

    And if you place £5k in my Nigerian bank account I'll PM you my age.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • the gormless and witless have always been with us

    I'd say that sums it up . .
  • redux
    redux Posts: 22,976
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 25 October 2014 at 9:09PM
    The thread currently adjacent to this one has Martin about to report an advert to the FCA and ASA. An advert targeted at students, apparently. Who are mostly young.

    The thread before that is about supporting the rights of stupid people.

    Martin lists some types of stupid people
    So it’s worth thinking about just who these people being accused of stupidity really are. Below is my non-exhaustive list of those who struggle with all these various issues – and therefore according to those who message me are thus stupid and don’t deserve protecting.

    Mental health suffers - 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer at least one mental health problem each year, and may therefore be temporarily incapable of making decisions.

    The blind / partially sighted (when using sites not optimised for their needs).

    Those who are Dyslexic

    Those who are Dyscalculic

    Non-English speakers - People who don’t have English as a first language.

    The learning disabled

    The functionally illiterate

    First time web users

    Alzheimer’s or senility sufferers

    Sleep deprived parents of very young children

    Those with short attention spans – Some people with medical conditions suffer from limited concentration.

    Mental capacity issues

    Financial phobics

    First time consumers – Young people who are only just transacting for the first time.

    People worried about other things - Minds can be distracted, perhaps due to stress, or maybe in the rush to book a flight to see a relative who’s only got a few days to live.

    Those who don’t read every term and condition - Sometimes there are over 5,000 words of legalese, anyone who doesn’t check them…well – just stupid I suppose?

    Those who trust banks – For example those who were told PPI was compulsory and therefore took it out as they thought they had to.

    Of course the people in this list are far from stupid – and its offensive to call them that. Many are very bright, high achieving people – some aren’t. Yet all of whom may be caught out at one time or another. And that’s what I find so infuriating about the comments I receive. Its a bit like the quiz shows that say ‘its easy when you know the answer’. We all need to walk in other (wo)mens shoes before we throw such accusations of stupidity around.

    So, given that he has appointed himself to speak up for some of these, why is this week's instalment to pick on the naivety unique to only old people?

    I don't think such sweeping generalisations work.
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230
    First Post Combo Breaker
    redux wrote: »
    I don't think such sweeping generalisations work.
    Of course they don't, and this claim - Mental health suffers - 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer at least one mental health problem each year - is complete nonsense.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Yes, it is a generational shift and nothing to do with aging. My experience is that anyone under 30 has grown into a culture of dishonesty. It is worse than not caring, it's not even thinking there's anything wrong with their self-serving behaviour so long as it's legal.
    See my comments on our culture of dishonesty at http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=66837296#post66837296 #116 and http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=66837045#post66837045 #3
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