Research on trustworthiness and trust behavior so far has followed different methodological approaches and has generated conflicting evidence regarding their interrelationships. While several authors follow the definition of trustworthiness as a belief or a formed expectancy by Person A about Person B to do X (usually to reward trust), different hypotheses can be derived regarding its formation, depending on whether one treats trustworthiness as incentive-based or as a propensity or disposition. Additionally, distinct measurement approaches for trustworthiness exist, depending on the mode of data collection. With theoretical claims that trustworthiness represents “the crucial variable” (Hardin in Trust, 2006) for understanding and explaining successful cooperation based on trust, the article proposes the use of para-data in the form of response latency measurement to enhance the understanding of the thought processes behind forming an assessment of trustworthiness. The study uses pooled data from two CATI surveys conducted in Germany in 2012 to test hypotheses on the underlying cognitive process of forming an expectation of trustworthiness by applying the techniques of both response latency measurement and Cox regression models. We find that the applied survey measures of trustworthiness generate inconsistent results regarding the underlying process of forming expectations. Consequences for future research are discussed.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 16, 2014
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