Aversions to Trust
In this article, we focus on two types of “aversion” which we deem essential aspects of the notion of trust: betrayal aversion (social) and ambiguity aversion (a special case of aversion to uncertainty). Based on trust-games studies in experimental economics and neuroeconomics, our main goal is to assess the conceptual, behavioral and neurobiological connections between betrayal and ambiguity aversions. From a social and individual psychological point of view the bottom line of our trusting behavior could be our general aversion to ambiguous signals. We approach social trust in the terms of a phenomenon based on uncertainty aversion. Specifically, a reduction of the perceived uncertainty of a social interaction tends to build up a trusting climate conducive to trade by decreasing betrayal aversion. We hypothesize that betrayal aversion and ambiguity aversion bear such a negative correlation. Focusing on this potential negative correlation our approach clearly differs from more positive accounts of trust centred on altruism. JEL Classification: C72; C91; D03 ; D87.
Volume (Year): 78 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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