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10 Ways To Build Trust in a Relationship - themguguchafor.ml

However, our research shows that this is not the case. In fact, we observe exactly the opposite pattern. Over a wide variety of different experimental paradigms and measures, we find that less powerful actors place more trust in others than more powerful actors do. That is, trust is greater when power is low rather than high. In a negotiation setting, for example, low-power negotiators perceived their partners to be more trustworthy than high-power negotiators did.

In an investment game, low-power players entrusted their partners with more money than did high-power players. But why would that be the case? We conducted four experiments that tested whether being in a weaker or stronger power position is linked to differences in trust perceptions and behaviors.

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Study one used an established negotiation task, in which participants were asked to negotiate over a consignment of cellphones. We put participants either in a low- or high-power position, depending on the viability of their fall-back option another buyer in case the negotiations with the partner failed. Negotiators in the high-power position trusted their negotiation partner significantly less as measured through a perceptual survey scale of trust than did participants in the low-power condition. We found that power players sent significantly less money — and thus trusted less — than non-power players.

Studies three and four both used a scenario in which participants assumed the role of a typist offering services to a new potential client. They could either provide a free sample to the client and thus trust that the client would come back with follow-up jobs or they could save their time and not provide a free sample and thus not trust the client. Participants were given several pieces of information about themselves and the new client, for example, specifying how urgently needed the typing business is for them and how much the client depended on their services, which allowed us to manipulate power.

In both studies, participants in the high-power condition were significantly less trusting.

Studies in power and trust

Study four furthermore provided insight into the causal chain connecting power and trust. In sum, people who lack power are motivated to see their partner as more trustworthy in order to avoid the anxiety inherently attached to their feelings of dependence. These power-disadvantaged actors thus effectively protect themselves by perceiving power holders in a positive light, even if little or no relevant information would support such perceptions.

Their hope that their powerful partner will be trustworthy dominates their cognition and decision-making.


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The powerful partner, on the other hand, has no reason to engage in significant motivated cognition. Our results bring new insight into the drivers of trust decisions. Trust is a critical ingredient in successful social exchange.

Can you ever really trust women?

Thus, researchers have paid considerable attention to the factors that facilitate or hinder trust in various settings. However, one potentially important source of variation in trust had received little attention so far — namely, power. This is surprising, since many, if not most, trust relationships involve nontrivial power inequalities between exchange partners.

Trust (social science)

Examples include relationships between patients and doctors, students and professors, employees and supervisors, and small and large firms. So when deciding whom to trust, you have to consider power differences, including new and temporary ones. If a potential collaborator has just been promoted or has landed a big deal, he might regard some relationships as less important.

Our minds recognize this fact from a surprisingly early age. For example, children as young as four are more apt to seek and believe information from instructors whom they perceive to be more competent, according to research by Harvard professor Paul Harris. For example, people are more willing to trust and use information offered by confident-looking others when working on problems for which they could earn a profit, as work by University of British Columbia psychologists Jason Martens and Jessica Tracy demonstrates.

Similarly, in my own research with Lisa Williams, of the University of New South Wales, we found that people expressing pride in newly formed working groups were the ones who quickly rose to positions of leadership, even though the abilities that their pride stemmed from were not relevant to the task at hand. Do your homework.

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Researchers in the academic, business, and military communities have spent years trying to uncover a few simple methods for detecting trustworthiness but, despite their best efforts, continue to come up short. All those books promising to teach you how to spot liars through body language? None has empirical support. Is it a false smile? Shifty eyes? The reality, though, is that any single cue is ambiguous. If someone touches her face, she might subconsciously be trying to hide something—or she might have an itch. The good news is that most of us do this instinctively.

Rather, you need to look for these four clues together to more accurately predict whether someone is worthy trusting—or not. This meant that a trust-relevant signal had to exist. To find out what it was, we compared sets of nonverbal cues we had collected from the recordings to see which of them predicted untrustworthy behavior. The more frequently an individual expressed all four cues, the more self-interest she showed by refusing to share profits with a partner. And the more times a partner saw her display those cues, the more the partner expected her to cheat. Most interesting of all, the face-to-face participants had no awareness that they were using the cues to make inferences about trustworthiness; they had developed more-accurate intuitions without being able to say why.

We then repeated the experiment, with one important change: Participants conversed not with another human but with a humanoid robot that had been programmed to express either the four target cues or neutral ones. The robot provided exacting control: It could repeat the target gestures with a precision that no human actor could achieve, meaning that we could ascertain the power of the four cues.

These findings demonstrate that our minds come with built-in trust detectors. They also reinforce how valuable intuitions, or gut feelings, can be. I suggest allowing your mind to arrive undisturbed at a judgment. The researchers had participants watch videos of honest and deceptive people. Immediately afterward, half the participants were encouraged to deliberate on who was trustworthy, while the others were told to distract themselves with a different task. The latter group proved to be significantly more accurate in subsequently identifying who was trustworthy.

Heavier babies become more trusting adults

Distraction allowed their nonconscious minds to extract meaning from the multitude of nonverbal cues unimpeded by analytical interference. Feelings of gratitude foster trustworthy behavior. In subsequent tasks, participants who had expressed more gratitude to their benefactors were not only more likely to work harder to assist and protect them but also split profits more evenly with them. Lesson: Giving new partners a reason to feel grateful to you is a win-win: They benefit in the short term from your generosity and you reap the rewards of their loyalty.

We instinctively make assessments about which partners are worth the risk of trusting using a very simple shortcut: similarity. Threats of punishment can prevent untrustworthy behavior in the moment, but such strategies can become counterproductive. But you should use it as a valuable piece of information. Even greater accuracy comes from considering the changes in circumstance that may lie ahead.

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Is it better to trust than not? Most accepted models suggest that a bias toward trusting is better when you have no information to go on, as the gains from long-standing relationships tend to outweigh one-time losses.