Trusting, Trustworthiness and Trust
These words are often used, many times interchangeably. What do they mean and what is the difference between the three? In the field of social psychology, trust, trustworthiness, and trusting are complex concepts that have been studied in various contexts.
Trust is generally defined as a psychological state characterized by a belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of another person or entity. It is considered a positive belief in the intentions and abilities of another person or entity to fulfill their obligations, and it is associated with a willingness to rely on that person or entity. Research has highlighted that trust can be built based on different sources of information such as reputation, past behavior, identity, communication, and social norms.
Trustworthiness, on the other hand, is a characteristic or quality of a person or entity that makes them worthy of trust. It is often described as the degree to which a person or entity is perceived as trustworthy, and it can be influenced by various factors such as past behavior, reputation, and communication. Trustworthiness is considered a key factor in the development and maintenance of trust and trusting.
Trusting is the degree to which someone or something is worthy of trust, or differently worded, the process or act of placing trust in another person or entity. It is considered a cognitive and affective process that involves assessing trustworthiness, and deciding to rely on that person or entity based on that assessment. Trusting is a dynamic process that can evolve over time, and it can be influenced by various factors such as past experiences, social norms, and identity.
In summary, trust is a psychological state that allows individuals and organizations to rely on each other, trusting is the process of placing trust in someone or something, and trustworthiness is the quality that makes a person or organization worthy of trust. These concepts are often interrelated and mutually reinforcing, with trustworthiness being a key factor in the development and maintenance of trust and trusting. Studies in psychology, sociology and management have highlighted that trust plays a crucial role in the functioning of social and economic systems, and it is considered a crucial factor for effective communication, cooperation, and decision-making.