Trustworthiness is a social norm, but trusting is not

Cristina Bicchieri, Erte Xiao, Ryan Muldoon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


The purpose of this chapter is to distinguish between trusting as a behavior that is norm driven versus trusting as a behavior that is predicated on the anticipation of profit through reciprocation. According to Hardin’s view of trust as encapsulated self-interest, if A trusts B, she must have good reasons to do so. An answer favored by some is that there is continuity between personal and generalized trust; those who are embedded in a thick network of trusting relationships and experience the trustworthiness of people around them will have the propensity to extend trust even to strangers. Yamagishi made an important distinction between trust and assurance that captures the discontinuity discussed earlier. Generalized trust is exemplified by a game that is meant to study behavioral trust, that is, the willingness to bet that another party will reciprocate (at a cost) a risky move.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Trust
EditorsKevin Vallier, Michael Weber
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781000381580, 9781003029786
ISBN (Print)9780367458454, 9780367768089
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Series in Contemporary Philosophy

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