Take a Chance: Building Trust in and Across Identity Groups
44 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
This paper addresses the question of how trust can be developed in and across social identity groups. Our model of trust-building is based on the concept of reassurance, where individuals who start with too much distrust to cooperate over important issues proceed gradually to reassure each other and cooperate over larger and larger issues over time. A critical aspect of reassurance is that it involves not mere contact but actually taking chances with another person in order to observe behavior and determine that person’s trustworthiness. We consider two parameters that shape interactions within and across groups: loyalty and prejudice. Our findings suggest that those who wish to build trust between identity groups should be relatively unprejudiced against the out group, be very loyal to their own identity group, and be in a structure where interaction involves limited but real risks.
Keywords: trust, social identity, reassurance, game theory, prejudice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation