Although 22 percent of Americans trust the nation's financial system, fewer people fear a large stock market drop, there is a slight uptick in trust in banks, and Americans are more confident about home values increasing compared with three months ago, according to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index.

The index, compiled in March, measures public opinion over three-month periods to track changes in attitudes.

"This quarter we also saw an increased appetite for financial risk," said University of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales, coauthor of the index. "Although some areas of the study show a drop in trust, 25 percent of people surveyed demonstrated a willingness to make potentially high-yielding investments despite higher risks."

— Alan J. Heavens