Psychology::Trust (social sciences)


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Psychology In psychology, trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected. It starts at the family and grows to others. According to the psychoanalyst Erik Erikson development of basic trust is the first state psychosocial development occurring, or failing, during the first two years of life. Success results in feelings of security, trust, and optimism, while failure leads towards an orientation of insecurity and mistrust<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> possibly resulting in attachment disorders.<ref>Fonagy, Peter. Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis. Other Press Professional, 2010. Print. ISBN 1590514602</ref>

A person's dispositional tendency to trust others can be considered a personality trait and as such is one of the strongest predictors of subjective well-being.<ref name=deneve&cooper>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> It has been argued that trust increases subjective well-being because it enhances the quality of one's interpersonal relationships, and happy people are skilled at fostering good relationships.<ref name=deneve1999>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Trust is integral to the idea of social influence: it is easier to influence or persuade someone who is trusting. The notion of trust is increasingly adopted to predict acceptance of behaviors by others, institutions (e.g. government agencies) and objects such as machines. However, once again perception of honesty, competence and value similarity (slightly similar to benevolence) are essential. There are three different forms of trust. Trust is being vulnerable to someone even when they are trustworthy; trustworthiness are the characteristics or behaviors of one person that inspire positive expectations in another person, and trust propensity being able to rely on people.<ref>Relationship and Risk taking</ref> Once trust is lost, by obvious violation of one of these three determinants, it is very hard to regain. Thus there is clear asymmetry in the building versus destruction of trust. Hence being and acting trustworthy should be considered the only sure way to maintain a trust level.

Increasingly much research has been done on the notion of trust and its social implications:

  • Barbara Misztal, in her book,<ref name="BarbaraMisztal">Barbara Misztal, Trust in Modern Societies: The Search for the Bases of Social Order, Polity Press, ISBN 0-7456-1634-8</ref> attempts to combine all notions of trust together. She points out three basic things that trust does in the lives of people: It makes social life predictable, it creates a sense of community, and it makes it easier for people to work together.
  • In the context of sexual trust Riki Robbins<ref name="RikiRobbins">Riki Robbins, Betrayed!: How You Can Restore Sexual Trust and Rebuild Your Life, Adams Media Corporation, ISBN 1-55850-848-1</ref> describes four stages of trust.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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  • In the context of Information theory Ed Gerck defines and contrasts trust with social functions such as power, surveillance, and accountability.<ref name="Ed Gerck">Ed Gerck, Trust Points, Digital Certificates: Applied Internet Security by J. Feghhi, J. Feghhi and P. Williams, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-30980-7, 1998.</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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  • From a social identity perspective, the propensity to trust in strangers (see in-group favoritism) arises from the mutual knowledge of a shared group membership,<ref name=Platow2012>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=journal }}</ref><ref name="Foddy2009"/> stereotypes,<ref name=Foddy2009>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> or the need to maintain the group's positive distinctiveness.<ref name="Tanis2005"/>

In addition to the social influence, in organizational settings, trust may have a positive influence on the behaviors, perceptions, and performances of a person. Trust has a circular relationship with organizational justice perceptions such that perceived justice leads to trust which, in turn, promotes future perceptions of justice.<ref>DeConick, J. B. (2010). The effect of organizational justice, perceived organizational support, and perceived supervisor support on marketing employees’ level of trust. Journal of Business Research, 63, 1349-1355.</ref> One factor that enhances trust in a human being is facial resemblance. Through digital manipulation of facial resemblance in a two person sequential trust game evidence was found supporting that having similar facial features (facial resemblance) enhanced trust in a subject’s respective partner.<ref>DeBruine, Lisa (2002). Facial Resemblance Enhances Trust. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 269(1498): 1307-1312. doi:10.1098/rspb.2002.2034</ref> Though facial resemblance was shown to increase trust, facial resemblance had the effect of decreased sexual desire in a particular partner. In a series of tests, digitally manipulated faces were presented to subjects to be evaluated for attractiveness within the context of a long term or short term relationship. The results showed that within the context of a short term relationship, which is dependent on sexual desire, similar facial features caused a decrease in said desire. Within the context of a long term relationship, which is dependent on trust, similar facial features increased the attractiveness of an individual, leading one to believe that facial resemblance and trust have great effects on relationships.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Structure often creates trust in a person that encourages them to feel comfortable and excel in the workplace. Working anywhere may be stressful and takes effort. By having a conveniently organized area to work on, concentration will increase as well as effort. Structure is not just a method of order. It increases trust and therefore makes a workplace manageable. A structured, ordered environment produces trust as one may contain increased cooperation and perform on a higher level.

People may work together and achieve success through trust while working on projects that rely on each individual’s contribution.<ref>The Role of Trust in Organizational Settings, Kurt T. Dirks, Donald L. Ferrin, 2001</ref>

Conversely, where trust is absent, projects can fail, especially if this lack of trust has not been identified and addressed. This is one facet of VPEC-T analysis: This thinking framework is used when studying information systems. Identifying and dealing with cases where information providers, information users, and those responsible for processing information do not trust one another can result in the removal of a risk factor for a project.

One's social relationship characterized by low trust and norms that discourage academic engagement are expected to be associated with low academic achievement. Individuals that are in relationships characterized by high levels of social trust are more apt to openly exchange information and to act with caring benevolence toward one another than those in relationships lacking trust.<ref>Goddard, Roger. Relation Network, Social Trust, and Norms: A Social Capitol Perspective on Students' Chances of Academic Success</ref>

An important key to treating sexual victimization of a child is the rebuilding of trust between parent and child. Failure for the adults to validate the sexual abuse contributes to the child's difficulty towards trusting self and others.<ref>TIMMONS-MITCHELL, JANE. TREATING SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION: DEVELOPING TRUST-BASED RELATING IN THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER DYAD</ref> Trust is often affected by the erosion of a marriage{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}. Children of divorce do not exhibit less trust in mothers, partners, spouses, friends, and associates than their peers of intact families. The impact of parental divorce is limited to trust in the father.<ref name="King2002">King, Valarie. Parental Divorce and Interpersonal Trust in Adult Offspring. Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Aug., 2002), pp. 642-656. Article Stable URL:</ref>

The social identity approach

The social identity approach explains trust in strangers as a function of group-based stereotypes or in-group favouring behaviours based on salient group memberships. With regard to ingroup favoritism, people generally think well of strangers but expect better treatment from in-group members in comparison to out-group members. This greater expectation then translates into a higher propensity to trust an in-group rather than out-group member.<ref name="Platow2012"/><ref name="Tanis2005"/><ref name="Foddy2008"/> It has been pointed out that it is only advantageous to form such expectations of an in-group stranger if they too know the group membership of the recipient.<ref name="Foddy2008"/>

There is considerable empirical activity related to the social identity approach. Allocator studies have frequently been employed to understand group-based trust in strangers.<ref name="Platow2012"/><ref name="Foddy2009"/><ref name=Foddy2008>Foddy, M., & Dawes, R. (2008). Group-based trust in social dilemmas. In A. Biel, D. Eek, T. Garling, & M. Gustafsson (Eds.), New Issues and Paradigms in Research on Social Dilemmas (pp. 57-85). New York, USA: Springer Science and Business Media.</ref><ref name=Guth2006>Guth, W., Levati, M.V., Ploner, M. (2006). Social identity and trust – An experimental investigation. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37, 1293-1308.</ref> They may be operationalised as unilateral or bilateral relationships of exchange. General social categories such as university affiliation, course majors, and even ad-hoc groups have been used to distinguish between in-group and out-group members. In unilateral studies of trust, the participant would be asked to choose between envelopes containing money that was previously allocated by an in-group or out-group member.<ref name="Foddy2008"/> They would have had no prior or future opportunities for interaction, simulating Brewer’s notion that group membership was sufficient in bringing about group-based trust and hence cooperation.<ref name=Brewer1999>Brewer, M.B. (1999). The psychology of prejudice: Ingroup love or outgroup hate? Journal of Social Issues, 55, 429-444.</ref> Participants could expect an amount ranging from nothing to the maximum value an allocator could give out. In bilateral studies of trust have employed an investment game devised by Berg and colleagues where individuals could choose to give a portion or none of their money to another.<ref name=Berg1995>Berg, J., Dickhaut, J., & McCabe, K. (1995). Trust, reciprocity, and social history. Games and Economic Behaviour, 10, 122-142</ref> Any amount given would be tripled and the receiver would then decide on whether they would return the favour by giving money back to the sender. Trusting behaviour on the part of the sender and the eventual trustworthiness of the receiver was exemplified through the giving of money.<ref name=Tanis2005>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref><ref name="Foddy2008"/>

The above empirical research has demonstrated that when group membership is made salient and known to both parties, trust is granted more readily to in-group members than out-group members.<ref name="Foddy2009"/><ref name="Foddy2008"/><ref name="Guth2006"/> This occurred even when the in-group stereotype was comparatively less positive than an out-group’s (e.g. psychology versus nursing majors),<ref name="Foddy2009"/> in the absence of personal identity cues,<ref name="Tanis2005"/> and when participants had the option of a sure sum of money (i.e. in essence opting out of the need to trust a stranger).<ref name="Platow2012"/> In contrast, when only the recipient was made aware of group membership trust becomes reliant upon group stereotypes.<ref name="Foddy2009"/><ref name="Tanis2005"/> The group with the more positive stereotype was trusted (e.g. one’s university affiliation over another),<ref name="Tanis2005"/> even over that of the in-group (e.g. nursing over psychology majors).<ref name="Foddy2009"/> Another reason for in-group favouring behaviours in trust could be attributed to the need to maintain in-group positive distinctiveness, particularly in the presence of social identity threat.<ref name="Guth2006"/> It should also be noted that trust in out-group strangers increased when personal cues to identity were revealed.<ref name="Tanis2005"/>

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