Why We’re More Likely To Trust A Stranger Than A Friend

Trust is an essential element of our lives. It determines how well we can cooperate with others and therefore it influences our social success. But why is it that we can give some people indefinite credit while we are suspicious of others?


According to a recent study, it’s more likely to trust a total stranger than a friend. It might sound surprising, given our emotional bond with friends and family.

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The difference is that with friends we have a history, while with strangers we don’t. Which means that instead of grounding our decision on what we already know about that person, we make judgments based on our own personality traits.

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If you are an agreeable type of person, then you will tend to see yourself in others, and assume that they will not break your trust. Something that a friend might have already and inadvertently done. And that can be reason to doubt whether to trust them again.

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The study has shown the correlation between trust and personality traits. But environmental factors matter as well. If you live in a corrupted and crime ridden society, this takes a toll on your ability to trust other human beings.

No matter how open and emotionally stable you might be, you will still not trust your government to keep their political promises.

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