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On-line version ISSN 2594-0686Print version ISSN 1870-2333


GOMEZ VILCHIS, Ricardo Román. Knowledge and understanding: determinants of Trust in the President. Polis [online]. 2018, vol.14, n.2, pp.97-125. ISSN 2594-0686.

What roles do citizens’ knowledge of the political life of the country and the understanding of political affairs play in the public’s trust in the president? By using a Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP 2014) survey, and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models, which include 1 100 observations, the present paper examines the determinants of people´s confidence in the Mexican Executive. The argument is that citizens’ knowledge of political life and citizens’ understanding of political issues have different effects on public confidence in the President. In the first case, knowledge returns to the critical public opinion of the President, and the trust is hardly granted; in contrast, the belief of the citizens that they understand the affairs of national life, makes the public opinion “generous” as regards the granting of their trust to the Executive. This finding suggests that knowledge and understanding of political issues are two distinct variables whose effects on trust in political institutions are opposite: knowledge has negative effects on trust; while the understanding has positive effects.

Keywords : trust; knowledge; understanding; Mexico; President.

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