Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Political Science

First Advisor

Vanessa Baird


The Miller-Citrin debate, inspired by the widespread distrust of the U.S. government in the early 1970s, has tended to focus on whether trust has implications for alienation from the system or whether people simply distrust incumbents. My theory is that distrust alone is not a measure of alienation because this measure does not distinguish between people who have become alienated and those that are merely superficially distrustful. Using diffuse support for the U.S. Supreme Court as the dependent variable, I have used original data from Mechanical Turk to do a pilot study on the role of political betrayal, political grievance, and governmental trust for diffuse support of the U.S. Supreme Court. I hypothesize that while political grievance and betrayal will significantly predict levels of diffuse support, governmental trust alone will not.