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
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
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