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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Russell Sage Foundation for a grant to Ben-Ner and Louis Putterman. We are grateful to the editor and referees for extremely helpful comments, and to comments received at presentations at Cornell University, University of Minnesota Law School, and a SABE annual conference.
- Trust game