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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. Håkan J. Holm & Anders Danielson, 2005. "Tropic Trust Versus Nordic Trust: Experimental Evidence From Tanzania And Sweden," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 505-532, 04.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2002. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 319, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing trust and trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 193-208, September.
  4. Avner Ben-Ner & Louis Putterman, . "Trust, Communication and Contracts: An Experiment," Working Papers 0206, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  5. Tan, Jonathan H.W. & Vogel, Claudia, 2008. "Religion and trust: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 832-848, December.
  6. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kramer, Amit & Levy, Ori, 2008. "Economic and hypothetical dictator game experiments: Incentive effects at the individual level," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1775-1784, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Kurtis J. Swope & John Cadigan & Pamela M. Schmitt & Robert S. Shupp, 2005. "Personality Preferences in Laboratory Economics Experiments," Working Papers 200507, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2005.
  9. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  10. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Laura Schechter, 2005. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural paraguay," Artefactual Field Experiments 00106, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Avner Ben-Ner & Famin Kong & Louis Putterman & Dan Magan, . "Reciprocity in a Two-Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 0902, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  14. 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.
  15. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  16. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Understanding Trust," NBER Working Papers 13387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  20. Buchan, Nancy R. & Croson, Rachel T.A. & Solnick, Sara, 2008. "Trust and gender: An examination of behavior and beliefs in the Investment Game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 466-476, December.
  21. 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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