American Sociological Association

Is Trust Rigid or Malleable? A Laboratory Experiment

An important debate within the trust literature is whether trust is modified by social experiences or resistant to change despite changing social circumstances. We address this debate by designing and implementing an experiment that exposes participants to a high or low trust environment and compares their change in generalized trust. We find that the experimental condition influences change in generalized trust, particularly for participants whose prior level of trust was mismatched with their experimental condition. The implications of these results for theories on the sources of trust are discussed.

Authors

Paxton, P., Glanville, J. L.

Volume

78

Issue

2

Starting Page

194

Ending Page

204

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