Trust as a Tactic: The Calculative Induction of Reciprocity

37 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2011

Date Written: June 25, 2011

Abstract

The current research uses the now-classic Trust Game and introduces a new, simultaneous version of the game to investigate whether people display trust as an influence tactic. Purely personal trusting decisions should lead trustors to send equivalent amounts in both versions of the game; calculative trusting decisions should lead to more trusting action when trustors know that trusted parties will see their behavior before choosing how to respond. Three studies observed considerable evidence of calculative trust that was particularly effective in generating reciprocity when trustors took greater risks and trusted more rather than less. These effects surfaced in social and exchange-oriented interactions, independently of a trustor's verbal messages, even when less costly, more direct means for creating trust were available. Analyses also indicated that feelings of obligation to reciprocate mediated these effects. Thus, it appears that trust tactics speak louder than words and, when they speak, people listen.

Keywords: Trust, reciprocity, obligation, strategy

Suggested Citation

Chou, Eileen Y. and Halevy, Nir and Murnighan, John Keith, Trust as a Tactic: The Calculative Induction of Reciprocity (June 25, 2011). IACM 24th Annual Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872572 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1872572

Eileen Y. Chou (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Nir Halevy

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

John Keith Murnighan

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Leverone Hall, 360
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-467-3566 (Phone)
847-491-8896 (Fax)

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