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Cynicism, for instance about startling turns in global affairs, can be toxic. A dose of healthy scepticism is a much better approach. Trust is an important foundation in interactions between people, and this applies in relationships between friends, employee and employer, or citizens and the government. At the government level, recent surprise world events, such as Brexit, when Britons voted to leave the European Union, and last week's election of anti-establishment figure Donald Trump to the United States presidency, suggest a disruption of that foundation of trust. One challenge from such a turn of events is the rise of cynicism. A cynic thinks that everything that others do is motivated by their self-interest, that people do good only to seek personal glory or as a calculated investment to reap some material gain. The cynic also believes that people will lie to get ahead and exploit others when they can get away with it - that people cannot be trusted to say what they mean and mean what they say.


cynicism, scepticism, government, attitudes


Psychology | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social Influence and Political Communication

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Straits Times

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Singapore Press holdings

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.