Group-Based Trust in Social Dilemmas

  • Margaret Foddy
  • Robyn Dawes

In a world of strangers, whom should we trust? In the last two decades, there has been increased attention to trust between individuals, trust in organizations, and trust in groups (e.g. Cook, Hardin & Levi, 2005; Gambetta & Hamill, 2005; Kramer, 1999; Molm, 2006; Yamagishi & Yamagishi, 2004). In this chapter we address the question of trust that arises from shared membership in groups in settings which do not provide the opportunity for development of a personal history of obligation between two or more parties, nor information about the reputation of a particular person, nor an organization. Further, the situations we investigate do not involve “assurance”, or encapsulated interest (Hardin, 2001; Yamagishi & Yamagishi, 1994). Rather, we examine those situations where individuals have little information about others, and no guarantees of favorable treatment. In these contexts, we argue that people employ a range of heuristics which are not necessarily less reliable than calculations based on strict individual self interest. We will refer to this as “social assurance”, to distinguish it from institutional assurance and formal sanctions.


Group Membership Social Dilemma Social Identity Theory Russell Sage Foundation Trust Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Foddy
    • 1
  • Robyn Dawes
    • 2
  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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