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Between Bonds and Bridges: Evidence from a Survey on Trust in Groups

Author: Braesemann, F., & Stephany, F.
Published in: Social Indicators Research, 1-18
Year: 2020
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.1007/s11205-020-02471-z

In every social transaction there is an element of trust. The degree to which we trust others, called generalized trust, is assumed to benefit from interaction with different social groups. In the trust literature, it is opposed by particularized trust, which represents our mutual confidence in individuals close to us, for example, family members and friends. This study, based on a survey with 634 university students from Austria, questions the strict dichotomy between the two trust types. Our results advocate for a third, group determined type of trust. This additional trust dimension is measured by the number of groups individuals participate in. It changes fluently between particularized and generalized trust, depending on measures of group context, like frequency of interaction or group size. Our findings show that generalized trust increases with the number of groups one feels belonging to. People with less diverse social interaction, however, have more trust in their peers than in strangers.

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Connected HIIG researchers

Fabian Braesemann, Dr.

Ehem. Gastforscher

Fabian Stephany, Dr.

Assoziierter Forscher: Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Gesellschaft

  • Open Access
  • Peer Reviewed