The survey found that 75 per cent of those questioned believe the papers take their coverage of those in the limelight too far, with just 18 per cent stating press intrusion as being the 'right amount'.
The results follow comments made by PR guru Max Clifford, who last week told the Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport that Britain had the 'most savage press in the world'.
The study, which quizzed 1,010 adults over last weekend, reveals 62 per cent of respondents believe the press likewise intrudes too far into the lives of ordinary members of the public.
Asked if they agree or disagree that 'the press generally behaves responsibly in Britain', 32 per cent said they disagree strongly, 29 per cent said they tend to disagree and 26 per cent said they tend to agree.
The results are consistent with similar research into public attitudes towards the press conducted by MORI in 1990.