Robert Terry identifies six factors:

  1. A deep and undefined sense of disconnection from the institutions and people that we believe we should be connected with
  2. Information overload based on our technology-rich societies
  3. An increasing mistrust of institutions, organizations, and systems
  4. Development of virtual realities (for example, through technology, spin control, and disinformation)
  5. An increasing fragility of a shared sense of purpose
  6. The rise of relativism; that is, people feel that they can never really know what is true or real or what is good or right

From Robert Terry, 1983 pp. 114–126