A roundup of some interesting recent findings about the predictors and roots of trust and trustworthy behaviour:

  • Moral judgment.  Those who make moral judgments behave in more trustworthy ways, and are more likely to expect trustworthy behaviour from others.
  • Age.  We become trustors sometime between kindergarden and elementary school, research suggests — possibly because older children become more aware of the possibility of reciprocity that makes trust pay off.
  • Lower testosterone.  That big hairy fella with the rugged jawline?  Probably not as trusting.  People with higher testosterone tend to be higher in “indiscriminate social suspicion“.
  • Racial integration.  People from areas with greater racial integration tend to be less distrusting than those who live in racially-segregated cities, some US data suggest.  Score another point for the contact hypothesis.
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