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Aversions to Trust

Anne Corcos, François Pannequin and Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde
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Anne Corcos: Université de Picardie & LEM-Université de Paris 2

No 2012038, Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

Abstract: In this article, we focus on two types of “aversion” which we deem essential aspects of the notion of trust: betrayal aversion (social) and ambiguity aversion (a special case of aversion to uncertainty). Based on trust-games studies in experimental economics and neuroeconomics, our main goal is to assess the conceptual, behavioral and neurobiological connections between betrayal and ambiguity aversions. From a social and individual psychological point of view the bottom line of our trusting behavior could be our general aversion to ambiguous signals. We approach social trust in the terms of a phenomenon based on uncertainty aversion. Specifically, a reduction of the perceived uncertainty of a social interaction tends to build up a trusting climate conducive to trade by decreasing betrayal aversion. We hypothesize that betrayal aversion and ambiguity aversion bear such a negative correlation. Focusing on this potential negative correlation our approach clearly differs from more positive accounts of trust centred on altruism.

Keywords: Trust game; Betrayal aversion; Ambiguity aversion; Neuroeconomics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D03 D87 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-09-01
Note: Special Issue : Trust and Decision through Neuro-Economics
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