Trust in motives, trust in competence: Separate factors determining the effectiveness of risk communication

  • Ahn T
  • Esarey J
  • Bierhoff H
 et al. 
  • 73


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


How does generalized social trust -- a Trustor's willingness to allow anonymous Trustees to make decisions affecting the Trustor's own welfare without an enforceable contract or guarantee, despite the Trustees' incentives to exploit or defraud -- come to predominate in a community? This article is organized around a theoretical argument about the dynamics of generalized trust. This argument is deduced from a formal model built on assumptions that are common in the existing literature on trust. We find three results. First, generalized trust and trustworthiness can thrive if reliable credentials allow people to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy partners. Second, under a system of credential-dependent trust, the proportion of trustworthy persons in the population tends to cycle between high and low levels in the long run. Hence, the model may explain the currently observed decline in generalized trust in the United States as a part of a long-term cycle. Finally, trustworthy types can coordinate to dampen the trustworthiness cycle and (under some conditions) maintain trustworthy types as the majority in a society.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Betrayal
  • Distress
  • Emotions
  • Forgiveness
  • Interpersonal Interaction
  • Interpersonal script
  • Psychological damage
  • Trust (Social Behavior)
  • a number of cogni-
  • accommodation
  • advice
  • affective
  • against the possibility of
  • age differences
  • although this multidisciplinary perspective
  • and
  • and behavioral processes come
  • and economics
  • aspirations in relation to
  • automaticity
  • be the most important
  • behavior
  • bership in a social
  • citizenship
  • commitment
  • competence
  • confidence
  • couple prayer
  • culture
  • decisions
  • disciplines
  • does praying with someone
  • ethics
  • fears
  • felt secu-
  • gender
  • group is salient
  • has
  • hen people are involved
  • iat
  • identity
  • important topic of inquiry
  • in a variety of
  • in situations where mem-
  • including management
  • information
  • ingredient for the development
  • integrity
  • interdependence
  • interdependent life because conflicts
  • intergroup
  • interpersonal
  • interpersonal trust
  • interview
  • into play
  • it may
  • judgment
  • loftiest hopes and
  • make you trust
  • model
  • motives
  • of interest are inevitable
  • of peoples
  • perceptions
  • psychology
  • rejection
  • relationships
  • religion
  • repertory grid
  • responsiveness
  • risk communication
  • risk regulation
  • romantic relationships are riddled
  • satisfaction
  • sociology
  • spirituality
  • strain tests
  • such caution is central
  • technology
  • their deepest worries and
  • tive
  • to
  • trust
  • trust has become an
  • trust in information
  • trust involves the juxtaposition
  • trustworthiness
  • unity
  • variability
  • with reason to self-protect
  • working memory capacity

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • T.K. Ahn

  • Justin Esarey

  • Hans-Werner Bierhoff

  • Bernd Vornefeld

  • Lorne Campbell

  • Jeffry a. Simpson

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free