Trust Building Via Risk Taking

Tuesday, January 1, 1980

[Karen Cook], Toshio Yamagishi, [Coye Cheshire], Robin Cooper, Masafumi Matsuda, Rie Mashima. 2005. Trust Building via Risk Taking: A Cross-Societal Experiment

Abstract: The role of risk taking in building trust relations has largely been overlooked in the burgeoning literature on trust in the social sciences, yet it is central to understanding how trust develops. We argue that a series of risk taking behaviors is indispensable to building a trust relation. Experiments were conducted in Japan and the United States to examine the independent and cross-cultural effects of risk taking on trust building. The results of these experiments indicate that the Americans took more risks than did the Japanese participants supporting the general claim that Americans are inclined toward risk taking and trust building. Despite this fact, however, the Americans were no better at improving the level of cooperation than were the Japanese. The cumulative results of these experiments imply that risk taking is a critical element in trust building for Americans, though it is not as critical for the Japanese. Our results clearly demonstrate that it is important to distinguish and to measure trusting behavior and cooperation separately if we are to study trust and trust building in relation to social cooperation.