Can experts win back the public’s trust?The Downfall (and Possible Salvation) of Expertise
Paper Prosocial lies: When deception breeds trust
Philosophers, psychologists, and economists have long asserted that deception harms trust. We challenge this claim. Across four studies, we demonstrate that deception can increase trust. Specifically, prosocial lies increase the willingness to pass money in the trust game, a behavioral measure of benevolence-based trust. In Studies 1a and 1b, we find that altruistic lies increase trust when deception is directly experienced and when it is merely observed. In Study 2, we demonstrate that mutually beneficial lies also increase trust. In Study 3, we disentangle the effects of intentions and deception; intentions are far more important than deception for building benevolence-based trust. In Study 4, we examine how prosocial lies influence integrity-based trust. We introduce a new economic game, the Rely-or-Verify game, to measure integrity-based trust. Prosocial lies increase benevolence-based trust, but harm integrity-based trust. Our findings expand our understanding of deception and deepen our insight into the mechanics of trust.
Published in: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
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- Social Preferences