System satisfaction, contact satisfaction, and trust in the police: A study of Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Several studies have found that citizens’ trust in the police is influenced by everyday encounters with the police. However, one important factor has been largely omitted from studies about contact and trust: citizens’ overall satisfaction with the functioning of their country’s political system and economy. What we label “system satisfaction” may influence both trust in the police and experiences and interpretations of encounters with the police. Using data from the European Social Survey, we investigate how system satisfaction is related to trust in the police in Norway, and the degree to which it accounts for or moderates the relationship between contact and trust. Our findings suggest that system satisfaction is highly significant for trust in the police. However, it does not seem to account for or moderate the relationship between contact satisfaction and trust. Thus, system satisfaction and direct contact experience appear to affect trust in the police independently.
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