Trusting Others: The Polarization Effect of Need for Closure

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming

64 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2014

See all articles by Sinem Acar Burkay

Sinem Acar Burkay

BI Norwegian Business School

Bob Fennis

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: April 9, 2014

Abstract

Because trust-related issues inherently involve uncertainty, we expected individuals' social-cognitive motivation to manage uncertainty – which is captured by their need for closure – to influence their level of trust in others. Through the results of six studies, we showed that higher need for closure was related to more polarized trust judgments (i.e., low trust in distant others and high trust in close others) in the case of both chronic and situational need for closure. Moreover, participants with high need for closure did not revise their level of trust when they received feedback about the trustees' actual trustworthiness, whereas participants with low need for closure did. Overall, our findings indicate that polarized (either high or low, as opposed to moderate) and persistent levels of trust may serve people's seizing and freezing needs for achieving cognitive closure.

Keywords: Need for closure, trust, uncertainty, interpersonal closeness

Suggested Citation

Acar Burkay, Sinem and Fennis, Bob and Warlop, Luk, Trusting Others: The Polarization Effect of Need for Closure (April 9, 2014). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2464052

Sinem Acar Burkay (Contact Author)

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Bob Fennis

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research ( email )

Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rug.nl/staff/b.m.fennis/

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

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