impacted by negative evidence that is considered diagnostic of a problem, whereas
positive evidence does not carry equal weight. For example, an untrusworthy
person may act trustworthy for the purpose of deception. As far as competence
is concerned, positive evidence is more diagnostic. More positive evidence imply
higher level of competence. If somebody is considered competent, small errors are
more easily forgiven. These two dimensions also apply to group based behavior.
People from the same social groups tend to find each other friendly and competent.
People considered to be from different social groups are viewed as unfriendly and
Another recent emphasis is on understanding how emotions impact trust. These
findings show that emotions from unrelated events can be carried over to later
evaluations of trustees [ 13 ]. Emotions with positive valence like happiness increase
trust, while emotions with negative valence like anger decrease trust. This is
specifically true if the emotion is considered to be causally related to another
person such as anger and gratitude. However, emotions that originate from internal
evaluations, such as pride and guilt, do not impact trust evaluations as much.
Furthermore, in-group and out-group evaluations of trust are linked to emotions
associated with specific situational dangers posed by these groups [ 9 ]. For example,
a threat to physical safety evokes fear while an obstacle to a desired outcome results
Overall, beliefs of trustworthiness are formed as a function of information
about trustees, the social groups that they belong to and the firsthand experience
with them. The impressions formed about another person through descriptions,
recommendations, or by their facial and other physical attributes; play an important
role in trustworthiness beliefs. In general, friendship relationships tend to imply
benevolence and integrity. However, capability is evaluated along a separate axis.
Network status, in particular, is an important signal used to infer capability.
Trust in Information
So far, we have concentrated on the trust a person has for other entities such as
people, institutions or even machines. This type of trust is generally framed as
trusting an entity to accomplish a task. In these examples, the trustor is dependent
on the trustee to perform a specific action, e.g., to participate in a transaction or to
provide information, before the action happens. We refer to this concept as trust for
actions. A parallel literature examines how the trustor may trust information that is
provided by a specific source. In this case, information is already provided and now
the trustor needs to decide whether the information can be trusted. We will refer
to this concept as trusting information. In this section, we examine how trust for
information and trust for actions differ.
Information trust is by no means a recent concern. For example, the topic
has been studied in great detail in the field of law, where it is crucial to judge
whether testimony provided in court is correct and can be trusted. How do we
trust information provided by different witnesses, especially when they conflict each