The genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust

Aaron C. Weinschenk, Christopher Dawes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In this paper, we investigate the genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust, an orientation that refers to one's expectations about the trustworthiness of strangers. We make a number of contributions to the literature. First, using a new dataset containing information on a large sample of German twin pairs (N = 1980 pairs), we replicate previous studies on the heritability of social trust. Our analysis supports previous research showing modest heritability estimates for social trust. Second, we examine whether seven different psychological traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-efficacy, and cognitive ability) are related to social trust, a number of which we find are correlated with trust in theoretically expected ways. Lastly, we estimate the extent to which genetic factors account for the correlation between psychological traits and social trust. We find evidence that genetic factors account for a large amount of the correlation between social trust and two psychological traits-agreeableness and neuroticism. In addition, we find that the correlation between cognitive ability and social trust is primarily due to common environment. Our results provide important insights on the underpinnings of social trust.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalJournal of Trust Research
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

    Fingerprint

    Psychology
    Aptitude
    Self Efficacy
    Research

    Keywords

    • generalized trust
    • heritability
    • Nicole Gillespie
    • personality
    • Social trust

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Applied Psychology

    Cite this

    The genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust. / Weinschenk, Aaron C.; Dawes, Christopher.

    In: Journal of Trust Research, 01.01.2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{61228dc4ba8e482bb369167be4f46144,
    title = "The genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust",
    abstract = "In this paper, we investigate the genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust, an orientation that refers to one's expectations about the trustworthiness of strangers. We make a number of contributions to the literature. First, using a new dataset containing information on a large sample of German twin pairs (N = 1980 pairs), we replicate previous studies on the heritability of social trust. Our analysis supports previous research showing modest heritability estimates for social trust. Second, we examine whether seven different psychological traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-efficacy, and cognitive ability) are related to social trust, a number of which we find are correlated with trust in theoretically expected ways. Lastly, we estimate the extent to which genetic factors account for the correlation between psychological traits and social trust. We find evidence that genetic factors account for a large amount of the correlation between social trust and two psychological traits-agreeableness and neuroticism. In addition, we find that the correlation between cognitive ability and social trust is primarily due to common environment. Our results provide important insights on the underpinnings of social trust.",
    keywords = "generalized trust, heritability, Nicole Gillespie, personality, Social trust",
    author = "Weinschenk, {Aaron C.} and Christopher Dawes",
    year = "2018",
    month = "1",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1080/21515581.2018.1497516",
    language = "English (US)",
    journal = "Journal of Trust Research",
    issn = "2151-5581",
    publisher = "Routledge",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust

    AU - Weinschenk, Aaron C.

    AU - Dawes, Christopher

    PY - 2018/1/1

    Y1 - 2018/1/1

    N2 - In this paper, we investigate the genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust, an orientation that refers to one's expectations about the trustworthiness of strangers. We make a number of contributions to the literature. First, using a new dataset containing information on a large sample of German twin pairs (N = 1980 pairs), we replicate previous studies on the heritability of social trust. Our analysis supports previous research showing modest heritability estimates for social trust. Second, we examine whether seven different psychological traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-efficacy, and cognitive ability) are related to social trust, a number of which we find are correlated with trust in theoretically expected ways. Lastly, we estimate the extent to which genetic factors account for the correlation between psychological traits and social trust. We find evidence that genetic factors account for a large amount of the correlation between social trust and two psychological traits-agreeableness and neuroticism. In addition, we find that the correlation between cognitive ability and social trust is primarily due to common environment. Our results provide important insights on the underpinnings of social trust.

    AB - In this paper, we investigate the genetic and psychological underpinnings of generalized social trust, an orientation that refers to one's expectations about the trustworthiness of strangers. We make a number of contributions to the literature. First, using a new dataset containing information on a large sample of German twin pairs (N = 1980 pairs), we replicate previous studies on the heritability of social trust. Our analysis supports previous research showing modest heritability estimates for social trust. Second, we examine whether seven different psychological traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-efficacy, and cognitive ability) are related to social trust, a number of which we find are correlated with trust in theoretically expected ways. Lastly, we estimate the extent to which genetic factors account for the correlation between psychological traits and social trust. We find evidence that genetic factors account for a large amount of the correlation between social trust and two psychological traits-agreeableness and neuroticism. In addition, we find that the correlation between cognitive ability and social trust is primarily due to common environment. Our results provide important insights on the underpinnings of social trust.

    KW - generalized trust

    KW - heritability

    KW - Nicole Gillespie

    KW - personality

    KW - Social trust

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85050332488&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85050332488&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/21515581.2018.1497516

    DO - 10.1080/21515581.2018.1497516

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:85050332488

    JO - Journal of Trust Research

    JF - Journal of Trust Research

    SN - 2151-5581

    ER -