Guiding trustful behavior: The role of accessible content and accessibility experiences
Abstract (via Rainer Greifeneder , Patrick Müller , Dagmar Stahlberg , Kees van den Bos , Herbert Bless)
Trust has been identified as a key ingredient to the prosperity of close relationships, organizations, and societies. While research mainly focused on the antecedents and consequences of trust, much less is known about how individuals assess whether there are enough reasons to warrant trustful action. Two experiments explored the how and when of this assessment, suggesting that antecedents may not only be integrated as content information per se (as generally assumed), but in a feeling-based summary form. Specifically, our results show that the ease or difficulty associated with the identification of antecedents to trust may guide trustful behavior. Furthermore, it is shown that such a feeling-based influence is particularly likely to occur in conditions of personal certainty. Together these results extend prior research in the domains of trust and economic games, and further attest to the fundamental role cognitive feelings play in social life.