Personal trust extends cooperation beyond trustees: A Mexican study

Cristina Acedo‐Carmona, Antoni Gomila
Published Online:
21 Jun 2018
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 54 Issue 5

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We studied 2 groups of workers from Oaxaca (Mexico) with different levels of income and education to investigate the role that the affective‐based psychological mechanism of personal trust, as evolutionarily acquired, plays on group cooperation. We measured trust levels through some questionnaires and cooperative behaviour through an iterated prisoner's dilemma under different conditions and analysed trust networks of group members. While these groups did not differ in trust levels or cooperation among trustees, they did differ in terms of cooperation with other group members. Such differences are related to dissimilarities in the trust network topology—as a measure of group cohesion. These results suggest that some personal trust networks extend cooperation within a group beyond trustees in a way that complements the role of the reputation for indirect reciprocity.

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