Status, identity, and ability in the formation of trust

Blaine Robbins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The sources of trust—or actor A’s belief about actor B’s trustworthiness with respect to particular matter Y—are myriad, ranging from the biological to the political. Despite the great amount of research that has investigated decision making as a function of another’s ascribed and achieved characteristics, we still know little about whether and to what extent these characteristics impact A’s trust in B regarding matter Y. In this article, I draw on classic sociological traditions—status characteristics theory and social identity theory—to formulate hypotheses that link ascribed and achieved characteristics to trust. Four survey experiments administered to Amazon.com Mechanical Turk workers (N = 1388 and N = 1419) and to public university undergraduate students (N = 995 and N = 956) showed that diffuse status characteristics (age, race, and gender) and social identities (co-age, co-race, and co-gender) produced weak to null effects depending on the population, hypothetical scenario, and nominal social category under study, while specific status characteristics (actual competence) consistently produced modest effects. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)408-448
    Number of pages41
    JournalRationality and Society
    Volume29
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

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    university
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    student

    Keywords

    • Achieved characteristics
    • ascribed characteristics
    • social identity theory
    • status characteristics theory
    • survey experiment
    • trust

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Status, identity, and ability in the formation of trust. / Robbins, Blaine.

    In: Rationality and Society, Vol. 29, No. 4, 01.11.2017, p. 408-448.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Robbins, Blaine. / Status, identity, and ability in the formation of trust. In: Rationality and Society. 2017 ; Vol. 29, No. 4. pp. 408-448.
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