By Kathryn Williams, DivineCaroline
Trust is an interesting concept. By the time you get to work in the morning, you may have chosen to trust or not trust a dozen people. When you turn on the weather channel, you are choosing to trust the meteorologist. When you leave your jewelry on your dressing table, you do so because you trust the cleaning person who will come in the afternoon. When you count your change at the deli, you are choosing to not trust the cashier. Even spending money requires trusting that the otherwise worthless rectangle of green material in your hand has value.
Trust is what keeps our society functioning. Evolutionarily speaking, we must trust to survive. But it can be a slippery thing. What makes us trust people? And more curiously, what makes us trust some people but not others?
Expectation and Reciprocation
According to the “experts”—sociologists, psychologists, economists, political scientists—trust is based on expectation. To the degree you believe you can expect a certain response from someone, you trust him. To the degree you believe he will reciprocate at some point in the future in some (often undefined) way, you trust him. Of course, past experience—with the person in question or with others—will affect that confidence, but in the here and now, certain behaviors and visual cues can also influence if and how much you trust someone: