Inviting or Avoiding Deception Through Trust? Conceptual Exploration of an Ambivalent Relationship

MPIfG Working Paper No. 08/1

27 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2008

Date Written: February 2008

Abstract

The paper explores conceptually the relationship between trust and deception. The author advances five main propositions, which concern deceptive signals of trustworthiness, the suspension of uncertainty in trust, the moral implications of trusting and deceiving, the trustor's self-deception, and the reversibility of trust. The overall conclusion is that trust and deception both enable and prevent one another and that this ambivalent relationship is due to the leaps and lapses of faith that characterize trust and distrust. Beyond implications for further research on trust and deception, the trust-deception ambivalence is practically relevant for making better sense of cases of deception in private and public life against the background of trust relationships that enable, prevent, require, and prohibit deception - all at the same time.

Keywords: trust, deception, relationships, rationality, uncertainty

Suggested Citation

Moellering, Guido, Inviting or Avoiding Deception Through Trust? Conceptual Exploration of an Ambivalent Relationship (February 2008). MPIfG Working Paper No. 08/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1105060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1105060

Guido Moellering (Contact Author)

Witten/Herdecke University ( email )

Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 50
Witten, 58448
Germany
+49-2302-926-501 (Phone)
+49-2302-926-587 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://reinhard-mohn-institut.de/

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