About 87 percent of respondents to a recent Chinese survey explained why they're unwilling to help an old person who has fallen in the street - they want to avoid being blamed for the accident.
The Renmin University of China, the Capital University of Economics and Business and the Central University of Finance and Economics conducted the survey, which asked mainlanders about trust.
During September and October, it was presented to about 5,000 respondents who were asked about their attitudes toward social issues that have recently given rise to much debate.
"We are putting this survey out regularly to see how the public reacts to social troubles," Xinhua quoted Wu Yilin, a statistics researcher at the People's University of China, as saying.
Wu added: "The hottest discussion in the past few months has been about trust."
Wu said the results suggest that people are losing some of their trust in others, especially after several old people recently claimed that a person who had tried to help them up after they had fallen was in fact to blame in the accident.
Wu said many young people will still offer help to an elderly person who has been in an accident, although, as a result of the recent accusations made against the providers of such assistance, more of them will now hesitate before doing so.