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Restoring Trust in Organizations and LeadersEnduring Challenges and Emerging Answers$
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Roderick M. Kramer and Todd L. Pittinsky

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756087.001.0001

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“My Trust Needs To Be Earned, Or I Don’t Give It”

“My Trust Needs To Be Earned, Or I Don’t Give It”

Youths’ Mental Models of Trust

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 “My Trust Needs To Be Earned, Or I Don’t Give It”
Source:
Restoring Trust in Organizations and Leaders
Author(s):

Margaret Rundle

Carrie James

Katie Davis

Jennifer O. Ryan

John M. Francis

Howard Gardner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756087.003.0003

This chapter explores the “mental models” of trust that youth utilize in assessing the trustworthiness of others and the implications of such mental models for the future of democratic life. Findings from in depth, semi structured interviews suggest that many youth rely predominately on an earned-through-performance model of trust when assessing the trustworthiness of others. However, a substantial number of youth favor models based on interactions evidence – particularly earned-through-interactions or evolves-through-interactions models – when assessing the trustworthiness of distant figures such as politicians and others in public life, where such interactions are improbable. The use of interactions evidence to assess trustworthiness is related to a passive withholding trust stance which has troubling implications for youth democratic participation; by disengaging from trustworthiness assessments of political figures, youth may be unmotivated to engage in related civic and political spheres.

Keywords:   trust, trustworthiness, democratic participation, civic, political, youth, mental models

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