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Trusting and trustworthiness: What are they, how to measure them, and what affects them

  • Ben-Ner, Avner
  • Halldorsson, Freyr

The study examines trust by investigating potential determinants (factors determined at birth and childhood) and correlates (various views and attitudes) of trusting and trustworthiness. We examine behavioral and survey measures and conclude that the amount sent in the trust game is a good, albeit partial and overreaching, measure of one facet of trust. Common survey measures of trusting capture well other facets of trusting. The proportion sent back in the trust game represents well trustworthiness in the specific context in which it was developed, an investment situation, but falls short in capturing other facets of trustworthiness. The Machiavellian scale appears to be a weak measure of any facets of trustworthiness. Gender is the primary determinant of investment-related facet of trusting, and personality is a strong determinant of other facets. One personality trait - agreeableness - explains investment-related trustworthiness.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 64-79

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:64-79
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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  1. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  6. Ben-Ner, Avner & McCall, Brian P. & Stephane, Massoud & Wang, Hua, 2009. "Identity and in-group/out-group differentiation in work and giving behaviors: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 153-170, October.
  7. Tan, Jonathan H. W. & Vogel, Claudia, 2005. "Religion and trust: an experimental study," Discussion Papers 240, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
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  11. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis & Kong, Fanmin & Magan, Dan, 2004. "Reciprocity in a two-part dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 333-352, March.
  12. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  13. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
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  15. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kong, Fanmin & Putterman, Louis, 2004. "Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 581-589, October.
  16. Lazzarini, S. G. & Madalozzo, R. C & Artes, R. & Siqueira, J. O., 2004. "Measuring trust: An experiment in Brazil," Insper Working Papers wpe_42, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  17. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
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  19. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
  20. Sapienza, Paola & Toldra Simats, Anna & Zingales, Luigi, 2007. "Understanding Trust," CEPR Discussion Papers 6462, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
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