Enhancing feelings of security: How institutional trust promotes interpersonal trust

Spadaro, Giuliana; Gangl, KatharinaORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6009-3358; van Prooijen, Jan-Willem; van Lange, Paul A.M. and Mosso, Cristina O. (2020) Enhancing feelings of security: How institutional trust promotes interpersonal trust. PLOS ONE, 15 (9), e0237934.

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Abstract or Table of Contents

Interpersonal trust is an important source of social and economic development. Over decades, researchers debated the question whether and how public institutions influence interpersonal trust, making this relationship a much-discussed issue for scientific debate. However, experimental and behavioral data and insights on this relationship and the underlying psychological processes are rare and often inconsistent. The present set of studies tests a model which proposes that institutional trust indirectly affects trust among unrelated strangers by enhancing individuals’ feelings of security. Study 1 (survey on trust in a broad spectrum of state institutions), Study 2 (nationally representative data from 16 countries), and Study 3 (experimental manipulation of institutional trust) provide convergent support for this hypothesis. Also, the results show that the effect remains consistent even after controlling for individual dispositions linked to interpersonal and institutional trust (Study 1 and 3) and country level indicators of institutional performance (Study 2). Taken together, these findings inform and contribute to the debate about the relationship between institutions and interpersonal trust by showing that when institutions are trusted, they increase feelings of security, and therefore promote interpersonal trust among strangers.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Research Units: Insight Austria
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2020 09:25
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237934
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/5430

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