What’s in a name? Subliminally activating trusting behavior
Huang, J. Keith Murnighan
Because the choice to trust is inherently risky, people naturally
assess others’ trustworthiness before they engage in trusting actions.
The research reported here suggests that the trust development process
may start before the conscious assessment of trustworthiness, via the
activation of a relational schema. We present three experiments that
examined the automatic, non-conscious activation of interpersonal
trusting behavior via a variety of subliminal cues: positive or
negative, relational or non-relational, and trust-related or not. In
all three studies, subliminal relational cues influenced subsequent
trusting behavior, apparently without conscious awareness. Results from
the third study also indicated that subliminal relational cues that
were specifically trust-related influenced trustors’ expectations of
the likelihood of reciprocity. Overall, the data provide initial
evidence that the development of interpersonal trust can start before
and beneath conscious awareness.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009