Relationship between trusting behaviors and psychometrics associated with social network and depression among young generation: A pilot study

Motoki Watabe, Takahiro A Kato, Alan Robert Teo, Hideki Horikawa, Masaru Tateno, Kohei Hayakawa, Norihiro Shimokawa, Shigenobu Kanba

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Maladaptive social interaction and its related psychopathology have been highlighted in psychiatry especially among younger generations. In Japan, novel expressive forms of psychiatric phenomena such as modern-type depression and hikikomori (a syndrome of severe social withdrawal lasting for at least six months) have been reported especially among young people. Economic games such as the trust game have been utilized to evaluate realworld interpersonal relationships as a novel candidate for psychiatric evaluations. To investigate the relationship between trusting behaviors and various psychometric scales, we conducted a trust game experiment with eighty-one Japanese university students as a pilot study. Participants made a risky financial decision about whether to trust each of 40 photographed partners. Participants then answered a set of questionnaires with seven scales including the Lubben Social Network Scale (LSNS)-6 and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9. Consistent with previous research, male participants trusted partners more than female participants. Regression analysis revealed that LSNS-family (perceived support from family) for male participants, and item 8 of PHQ-9 (subjective agitation and/or retardation) for female participants were associated with participants trusting behaviors. Consistent with claims by social scientists, our data suggest that, for males, support from family was negatively associated with cooperative behavior toward non-family members. Females with higher subjective agitation (and/or retardation) gave less money toward males and high attractive females, but not toward low attractive females in interpersonal relationships. We believe that our data indicate the possible impact of economic games in psychiatric research and clinical practice, and validation in clinical samples including modern-type depression and hikikomori should be investigated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0120183
    Number of pages14
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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