Motivating Cooperation and Compliance with Authority

The Role of Institutional Trust

  • Brian H. Bornstein
  • Alan J. Tomkins

Part of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation book series (NSM, volume 62)

About this book


This volume explores the various ways that trust is thought about in contemporary society and studied by social scientists. Specifically, it focuses on the role of trust as a major contributing factor in compliance with authority. Cross-disciplinary research findings by leading experts link new ways of looking at trust and its measurement to emerging areas for understanding and fostering cooperation with such entities as governments, law enforcement, the courts, and scientists. These multiple viewpoints help to explain why trust remains hard to define across disciplines, as chapter authors explore the role of morality in compliance, political implications of trust, and key trust-related concepts such as legitimacy, justice, and risk. In addition, the book explores the nuanced relationship between institutional and interpersonal trust.


Included among the topics:


  • Reflections on the many meanings and uses of trust.
  • The interrelated roles of justice and trust.
  • Who trusts the trial courts, how much, and why?
  • On the dual motivational force of legitimacy.
  • Political trust in polarized times.
  • Fostering an appropriate level of public trust in experts.

 Motivating Cooperation and Compliance with Authority: The Role of Institutional Trust sheds impressive light on its subject for researchers and instructors in a variety of disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, political science, criminal justice, social justice, economics, and public policy. At a time when many see trust in authority as declining, this book is an insightful and exceptionally timely compilation for all those interested in the fundamental workings of society.


confidence in judicial systems emotional responses to injustices institutional legitimacy theoretical perspectives on trust trust in government trust in public institutions

Editors and affiliations

  • Brian H. Bornstein
    • 1
  • Alan J. Tomkins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Public Policy CenterUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

Bibliographic information