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Fig. 2.5 The dependence on
the trustee
Some definitions of trust also emphasize that the trustor should be able to reject
a choice. Even if there is more than one choice to be made, it is possible that some
of these choices are not desirable at all. According to our formulation, as long as
there is one other choice in which the trustor does not depend on the trustee, then
the dependence on the trustee involves trust. One can argue that for any action,
there is always another choice, i.e., not to take that action. Some would argue
the opposite, that our decisions are predetermined by our mental predispositions,
especially in cases where we have not considered the pros and cons of different
choices consciously. Without going into a deep discussion about free will, we would
like to instead emphasize that dependence relations can vary greatly depending on
the perception of the trustor as to what her choices are.
As an example, suppose Alan is painting the house with the help from his robot
helper, Chip. Alan trusts Chip to hold the ladder steady so that he can paint high up.
Thus, the trustor is Alan and the trustee is Chip. By trusting Chip, Alan is able to
complete the task. If Alan did not trust Chip, he cannot use the ladder and cannot
accomplish his task. Alan might consider other ways to paint these hard-to-reach
locations, but he is convinced that they will produce lower-quality worksmanship.
Emphasized in the trust definition is the possibility to suffer negative consequences
or to be disappointed if trust is misplaced. In other words, the trustor is made
vulnerable as a result of trusting. The evaluation of consequences is generally
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