FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Trust (social sciences)

Trust is a relationship of reliance. A trusted party is presumed to seek to fulfill policies, ethical codes, law and their previous promises. Look up trust in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up policy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ...

Trust does not need to involve belief in the good character, vices, or morals of the other party. Persons engaged in a criminal activity usually trust each other to some extent. Also trust does not need to include an action that you and the other party are mutually engaged in. Trust is a prediction of reliance on an action, based on what a party knows about the other party. Trust is a statement about what is otherwise unknown -- for example, because it is far away, cannot be verified, or is in the future.



In the social sciences, the subtleties of trust are a subject of ongoing research. In sociology (and psychology) the degree to which one party trusts another is a measure of belief in the honesty, benevolence and competence of the other party. Based on the most recent research, a failure in trust may be forgiven more easily if it is interpreted as a failure of competence rather than a lack of benevolence or honesty. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Honest redirects here, For other uses, see Honesty (disambiguation) Look up honesty in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the phrenological faculty, see Benevolence (Phrenology) Look up Benevolence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up competence, incompetence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Forgiveness has been described as a quality by which one ceases to feel resentment against another for a wrong he or she has committed against oneself. ...

From this perspective, trust is a mental state, which cannot be measured directly. Confidence in the results of trusting may be measured through behavior, or alternatively, one can measure self-reported trust (with all the caveat surrounding that method). Trust may be considered a moral choice[citation needed], or at least a heuristic, allowing the human to deal with complexities that outgo rationalistic reasoning. In this case, machine-human trust is meaningless, because computers have no moral sense and rely on rational computations. Any trust in a device under this characterization is computer-mediated trust of the user of the machine in the designer and creator of the device; who has implemented the rational rules into the device. Francis Fukuyama and Tyler are academics who advocate this conception of trust – as moral and not directly observable. Look up Heuristic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (b. ...

A second perspective in social theory comes from the classic Foundations of Social Theory by James S. Coleman. Coleman offers a four part definition: James S. Coleman, born May 12, 1926 in Bedford, Indiana, died March 25, 1995 in Chicago, was an American sociologist. ...

1. Placement of trust allows actions that otherwise are not possible (i.e. trust allows actions to be conducted based on incomplete information on the case in hand).

2. If the person in whom trust is placed (trustee) is trustworthy, then the trustor will be better off than if he or she had not trusted. Conversely, if the trustee is not trustworthy, then the trustor will be worse off than if he or she had not trusted (this is reminiscent of a classical prisoner's dilemma). Will the two prisoners cooperate to minimize total loss of liberty or will one of them, trusting the other to cooperate, betray him so as to go free? In game theory, the prisoners dilemma (sometimes abbreviated PD) is a type of non-zero-sum game in which two players...

3. Trust is an action that involves the voluntary placement of resources (physical, financial, intellectual, or temporal) at the disposal of the trustee with no real commitment from the trustee (again prisoner's dilemma).

4. A time lag exists between the extension of trust and the result of the trusting behavior.

The strength of Coleman's definition is that it allows for discussion of trust behavior. These discussions have been particularly useful in reasoning about human-computer trust, and trust behaviors.

Modern scholars trying to bring together issues of trusted systems, computer security, trust and technology include Jeroen van den Hoven, Helen Nissenbaum, Deborah Johnson, Jean Camp, and Ed Gerck. In security engineering, a trusted system is a system that you have no choice but to trust. ... This article describes how security can be achieved through design and engineering. ...

A critical element in studies of trust behavior is power. One who is in a position of dependence cannot be said to trust another in a moral sense, but can be defined as trusting another in the most strict behavioral sense. Trusting another party when one is compelled to do so is sometimes called reliance, to indicate that the belief in benevolence and competence may be absent, while the behaviors are present. Others refer only to coercion.

Coleman's definition does not account for the distinction between trust(worthiness) as a moral attribute and trustworthiness as mere reliability. It is Annette Baier (Ethics, 1987) who characterizes contexts of trust as structures of interaction in which moral obligations act upon the trustees. Annette Baier (1929 - ) is a well-known moral philosopher and Hume scholar. ...

The substantive conflict in the social sciences is whether trust is entirely internal, and only confidence is observable, or whether trust behaviors (and self reported levels of trust) can meaningfully measure trust in the absence of coercion. Note however that many languages (e.g. Dutch or German) do not distinguish between the words trust and confidence, which is complicating this issue. The distinction between trust and confidence is an unsolved issue in current trust/confidence research.

In general, trust is essential as Social institutions (governments), economies, and communities require trust to function. Therefore trust and altruism are areas of study for economists, although these concepts go beyond strict rational economics. A social institution is any institution in a socity that works to socialize the groups or people in it. ... For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ...


In psychology, trust is integral to the idea of social influence: it is easier to influence or persuade someone who is trusting. The notion of trust is increasingly adopted to predict acceptance of behaviors by others, institutions (e.g. government agencies) and objects such as machines. However, once again perception of honesty, competence and value similarity (slightly similar to benevolence) are essential. Once trust is lost, by obvious violation of one of these three determinants, it is very hard to regain trust. Thus there is a clear a-symmetry in building versus destruction of trust. Hence being and acting trustworthy should be considered the only sure way to maintain a trust level. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Institutions are structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of two or more individuals. ... An agency is a department of a local or national government responsible for the oversight and administration of a specific function, such as a customs agency or a space agency. ... This article is about devices that perform tasks. ...

Increasingly much research has been done on the notion of trust and its social implications:

  • Barbara Misztal in her book[1] attempts to combine all notions of trust together. She points out three basic things that trust does in the lives of people: It makes social life predictable, it creates a sense of community, and it makes it easier for people to work together.
  • In the context of sexual trust Riki Robbins[2] describes four stages of trust:
  • In the context of Information Theory Ed Gerck defines and contrasts trust with social functions such as [3] power, surveillance, and accountability:

A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. ... Not to be confused with information technology, information science, or informatics. ...


  1. ^ Barbara Misztal, Trust in Modern Societies: The Search for the Bases of Social Order, Polity Press, ISBN 0-7456-1634-8
  2. ^ Riki Robbins, Betrayed!: How You Can Restore Sexual Trust and Rebuild Your Life, Adams Media Corporation, ISBN 1-55850-848-1
  3. ^ Ed Gerck, in Trust Points, Digital Certificates: Applied Internet Security by J. Feghhi, J. Feghhi and P. Williams, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-20-130980-7, 1998.

Further reading

  • Jack R. Gibb (1978), Trust: A New View of Personal and Organizational Development, Guild of Tutors Press, ISBN 0-89615-002-X
  • Howard Gardner, Jessica Sara Benjamin, Lindsay Pettingill, An Examination of Trust in Contemporary American Society. Compass: A Journal of Leadership, Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2006.
  • Carsten D. Schultz (2007): Consumer Trust in E-Commerce. An Analysis of Means Communicating Trustworthiness From a Buying Transaction Life Cycle Perspective. Hamburg, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8300-3014-0

The Center for Public Leadership (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) supports research, events, curricular and co-curricular programing. ...

See also

Position of trust is a legal term used in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and perhaps other countries. ... Confidence is trust or faith that a person or thing is capable. ... Will the two prisoners cooperate to minimise total loss of liberty or will one of them, trusting the other to cooperate, betray him so as to go free? The prisoners dilemma is a type of non-zero-sum game. ... The scope of social psychological research. ... Definition Intimacy is complex in that its meaning varies from relationship to relationship, and within a given relationship over time. ... In psychology and sociology, a trust metric is a measure of how a member of a group is trusted by the other members. ... Trustworthiness is a moral value considered to be a virtue. ... Faith has two general implications which can be implied either exclusively or mutually; To Trust: Believing a certain variable will act a specific way despite the potential influence of known or unknown change. ... Social capital is a core concept in business, economics, organizational behaviour, political science, and sociology, defined as the advantage created by a persons location in a structure of relationships. ... Mother and child. ...

External links

Look up trustworthy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Trust Building Activities
  • Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations, edited by Diego Gambetta
  • Am I Trustworthy? (1950) Educational video clip
  • Stony Brook University is presently (2006 through 2009) hosting weekly seminars on the issue of trust in the personal, religious, social, and scientific realms as part of the Templeton Foundation's Research Lecture series and all of the talks and discussions are recorded and available online: via iTunes or via RSS More detailed information and a list of the seminars and participants is available here



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m