A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 16294

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Systems Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Interests: trust; reciprocity; altruistic punishment; morality; human belief systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Trust and reciprocity—complementary, interconnected, and interdependent on one another—are omnipresent in cooperative exchange and, therefore, fundamental for the stability of human society. Researchers across different disciplines—including economics, psychology, and recently neuroscience—have employed variants of the trust game to empirically measure individual differences in trust and reciprocity. However, dilemmas of trust and reciprocity as measured with one- or multi-shot versions of this two-person monetary exchange game display very similar behavioral, psychological, and neural signatures, making it particularly challenging to separate these two concepts. Systematic research is needed to clarify the commonalities and differences between these two interrelated prosocial behaviors.

This Special Issue invites researchers and scholars from diverse backgrounds to contribute original experimental, methodological, review, meta-analytical, or theoretical papers that shed light on our understanding of trust and reciprocity derived from behavioral, psychological, or neural measures collected with the trust game. Pressing, relevant, and timely research contributions are welcome that explore, for example, psychological functions (motivation, affect, and cognition), social preferences and norms, attitudes to risk and aversion, personality traits, and gender and cultural factors—determining commonalities and differences of trust and reciprocity. This unique collection of papers will facilitate, broaden, and improve the ecological validity of the trust game as a prolific instrument in the scientist’s toolbox for understanding the interrelatedness of trust and reciprocity.

Prof. Dr. Frank Krueger
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • trust game paradigms
  • propensity and dynamics of trust and reciprocity
  • psychological functions, social preferences, and personality characteristics
  • rational, expressive, and bounded rationality theories
  • experimental, computational, and neural methods

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 152 KiB  
Editorial
A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity
by Frank Krueger
Games 2023, 14(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/g14020028 - 23 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1394
Abstract
Trust and reciprocity are fundamental for the cohesion and stability of human society, as they are essential components of cooperative exchange [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

14 pages, 975 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Order Effects on the Framing of Trust and Reciprocity Behaviors
by Davood Bayat, Hadi Mohamadpour, Huihua Fang, Pengfei Xu and Frank Krueger
Games 2023, 14(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/g14020021 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Trust and reciprocity have paramount importance in cooperative relationships. The influence of psychological effects such as framing and anchoring on trust and reciprocity has been investigated; however, the impact of an order effect on them is still unexplored. The goal of our study [...] Read more.
Trust and reciprocity have paramount importance in cooperative relationships. The influence of psychological effects such as framing and anchoring on trust and reciprocity has been investigated; however, the impact of an order effect on them is still unexplored. The goal of our study was to examine how order impacts the framing of trust and reciprocity by manipulating framing and order as within- and between-subjects factors, respectively. Different groups of participants first completed two framings of the one-shot trust game (give vs. take frame) in a counterbalanced order (give first and then take second vs. take first then give second) in the role of trustors or trustees and rated the expectations of their counterparts’ decisions afterward. Our results revealed higher trust in the take than give frame in the first decision and a reverse outcome in the second decision due to strong anchoring. Reciprocity was higher in the give than take frame in the first decisions, and no difference in the second decisions was observed due to weak anchoring. Anchoring also caused an order effect in trust and reciprocity, with higher trust when the take frame was played first, and higher reciprocity when the give frame was played first. Our results contribute to our knowledge about situational factors that shape trust and reciprocity, highlighting the impact of the context of the decision environment in terms of the impact of the order on framing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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9 pages, 1031 KiB  
Article
Salivary Oxytocin Has Nonlinear Relationships with Trust and Reciprocity
by Sakura Arai, Motoki Watabe, Kei Kanari, Qiulu Shou, Frank Krueger and Haruto Takagishi
Games 2023, 14(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/g14010017 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1954
Abstract
Oxytocin has been proposed to regulate human trust. Previous experiments supported this claim by demonstrating that exogenous and endogenous oxytocin is associated with trust (how much trust people place in strangers) and reciprocity (how much people reciprocate when trusted). However, recent replication attempts [...] Read more.
Oxytocin has been proposed to regulate human trust. Previous experiments supported this claim by demonstrating that exogenous and endogenous oxytocin is associated with trust (how much trust people place in strangers) and reciprocity (how much people reciprocate when trusted). However, recent replication attempts have been unsuccessful in demonstrating the trust-enhancing effect of oxytocin, and there is limited evidence on whether oxytocin is associated with reciprocity. This study aimed to replicate the previously found nonlinear relationships between the endogenous oxytocin concentration and both trust and reciprocity by utilizing a monetarily incentivized trust game. In a college sample, we found that salivary oxytocin levels showed (i) an inverted U-shaped relationship with trust in men and (ii) a U-shaped relationship with reciprocity in women. The current results confirm the previous finding that endogenous oxytocin levels have nonlinear relationships with trust and reciprocity. Further research on the role of oxytocin secretion in trust and reciprocity is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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16 pages, 619 KiB  
Article
HEXACO Personality Dimensions Do Not Predict Individual Differences in Adolescent Trust Behavior
by Hester Sijtsma, Nikki C. Lee, Jacek Buczny, Miriam Hollarek, Reubs J. Walsh, Mariët Van Buuren and Lydia Krabbendam
Games 2023, 14(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/g14010010 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
Adolescence is an important developmental period for both trust behavior and personality maturation, and individual differences in trust decisions may be related to different personality traits. In the current study, a group of adolescents (n = 483, Mage = 13.5, SD [...] Read more.
Adolescence is an important developmental period for both trust behavior and personality maturation, and individual differences in trust decisions may be related to different personality traits. In the current study, a group of adolescents (n = 483, Mage = 13.5, SDage = 0.4) played two counterbalanced conditions of a multi-round trust game. In one condition, the partner displayed trustworthy behavior (the trustworthy condition), while the partner in the other condition played untrustworthy behavior (the untrustworthy condition). Three types of trust behavior were examined: initial trust behavior, the adaptation of trust behavior (trustworthy condition), and the adaptation of trust behavior (untrustworthy condition). Personality was measured using the Brief HEXACO Inventory. We expected the HEXACO personality dimensions of honesty–humility and agreeableness to be positively associated with initial trust behavior, but conscientiousness to be negatively related to initial trust behavior. The examination of the relationship between these dimensions and the adaptation of trust behavior were conducted on an exploratory basis. The investigation of the relationship between the remaining dimensions (emotionality, extraversion, and openness to experience) and the three types of trust behavior were also carried out on an exploratory basis. For each type of trust behavior, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis was undertaken to examine whether the HEXACO personality dimensions were related to trust behavior. Using frequentist analyses, no evidence was found that supported the HEXACO dimensions as significant predictors of the three types of trust behavior. Moreover, additional Bayesian analyses showed evidence that the hypothesized HEXACO dimensions (honesty–humility, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) did not outperform the non-hypothesized HEXACO dimensions (emotionality, extraversion, and openness to experience). The association between personality traits and trust might be less pronounced during adolescence as personality maturates across an individual’s lifespan. Additionally, due to a heightened sensitivity to the environment, contextual cues may affect adolescent decision-making processes, leaving less room for personality-driven behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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21 pages, 2494 KiB  
Article
Default Matters in Trust and Reciprocity
by Yao Zhang, Yushu Zhang, Yan Wu and Frank Krueger
Games 2023, 14(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/g14010008 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2063
Abstract
Trust and reciprocity promote cooperation and are key elements of a successful social life. This study investigated the framing effects on trust and reciprocity behaviors. Using an iterated one-shot within-subjects design, this study explored how trust and reciprocity decisions changed when the game [...] Read more.
Trust and reciprocity promote cooperation and are key elements of a successful social life. This study investigated the framing effects on trust and reciprocity behaviors. Using an iterated one-shot within-subjects design, this study explored how trust and reciprocity decisions changed when the game was framed in terms of a give (i.e., using a standard trust game with a default of no trust) and a take (e.g., using a distrust game with a default of full trust) frame. Participants of both genders first completed the scenario version of the game (Session 1), and then played the roles of trustors (Session 2) and trustees (Session 3) with human and computer-mediated human partners either in the give or take frame. Our results showed increased trust in the give than in the take frame, but only pronounced in direct interaction with human (vs. indirect computer-mediated) partners. Participants also showed higher expectations of return in the give than in the take frame. The actual reciprocity was higher in the give than in the take frame when interacting both with human and computer-mediated human partners. The results contribute to our understanding of the factors that shape trust and reciprocity and emphasize the impact of framing the default. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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11 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Investigation of Trusting Behaviour
by Clelia Mazzoni and Patrizia Sbriglia
Games 2022, 13(6), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13060079 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
In this paper, we present the results of an experiment conducted in Italy on trusting behaviour. Our subjects participated in a trust game and filled in a questionnaire on trust and trustworthiness based on the attitudinal questions reported in the European Value Survey. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the results of an experiment conducted in Italy on trusting behaviour. Our subjects participated in a trust game and filled in a questionnaire on trust and trustworthiness based on the attitudinal questions reported in the European Value Survey. The aims of the research are twofold. Firstly, using the experimental dataset, we construct two measures of trustworthiness among all recipients in the experiment, one based on the questionnaires’ answers and another based on the strategy method. We then compare the ex-ante behavioural decision to trust (before participants are allocated to a group) with the ex-post decision to trust (after participants are allocated to a group and trustors are informed of the level of trustworthiness of all the recipients who have been randomly allocated to each group). Our main finding is that trust strongly varies once the information is disclosed to trustors. The effect on trust is greater when the strategy method is used. Secondly, we compare the behavioural measure of trust with the attitudinal measures of trust and trustworthiness and find that there is only a weak correlation between the two measures, thus confirming, for the Italian case, similar findings in country-based studies on trust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
14 pages, 989 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Trial-By-Trial Feedback on Trust in Health, First-Episode and Chronic Psychosis
by Imke L. J. Lemmers-Jansen, Rune J. Wichmann, Sophie Perizonius and Sukhi S. Shergill
Games 2022, 13(5), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13050059 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1791
Abstract
Trust is crucial to establishing reciprocal, positive social interactions and seems to be compromised in psychosis. The trust game offers methods to assess an individual’s trust responses to trust-reciprocating, positive feedback. Various computational techniques have been implemented to measure trust responsiveness, mostly based [...] Read more.
Trust is crucial to establishing reciprocal, positive social interactions and seems to be compromised in psychosis. The trust game offers methods to assess an individual’s trust responses to trust-reciprocating, positive feedback. Various computational techniques have been implemented to measure trust responsiveness, mostly based on investments. Here, we propose a new method, focusing on feedback response. Psychosis patients show social dysfunction and reduced trust during early and more progressed illness stages. The present study inspects differences in feedback responsiveness of 102 first-episode psychosis patients (FEPs), 43 chronic psychosis patients (CPs), and 39 healthy controls (HCs) by adopting a novel assessment approach. Additionally, baseline trust, the trust exerted without any prior knowledge of the partner’s trustworthiness, and mean trust were examined. Participants performed a multi-round trust game, playing the investor role, and were paired with a computer, programmed to return at least the invested amount, representing a trustworthy partner. The new method detected group differences, more distinguished than the former methods. Contrary to our expectations, baseline trust was intact in patients. Relative to HCs, patients were less responsive to feedback, failing to integrate the positive information into their decision-making process. The magnitude of returns was not associated with increases in trust. This novel method showed promising results and confirmed patients’ deficits within the social interactional domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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27 pages, 1659 KiB  
Article
A Model of Trust
by Gabriele Bellucci
Games 2022, 13(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13030039 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2826
Abstract
Trust is central to a large variety of social interactions. Different research fields have empirically and theoretically investigated trust, observing trusting behaviors in different situations and pinpointing their different components and constituents. However, a unifying, computational formalization of those diverse components and constituents [...] Read more.
Trust is central to a large variety of social interactions. Different research fields have empirically and theoretically investigated trust, observing trusting behaviors in different situations and pinpointing their different components and constituents. However, a unifying, computational formalization of those diverse components and constituents of trust is still lacking. Previous work has mainly used computational models borrowed from other fields and developed for other purposes to explain trusting behaviors in empirical paradigms. Here, I computationally formalize verbal models of trust in a simple model (i.e., vulnerability model) that combines current and prospective action values with beliefs and expectancies about a partner’s behavior. By using the classic investment game (IG)—an economic game thought to capture some important features of trusting behaviors in social interactions—I show how variations of a single parameter of the vulnerability model generates behaviors that can be interpreted as different “trust attitudes”. I then show how these behavioral patterns change as a function of an individual’s loss aversion and expectations of the partner’s behavior. I finally show how the vulnerability model can be easily extended in a novel IG paradigm to investigate inferences on different traits of a partner. In particular, I will focus on benevolence and competence—two character traits that have previously been described as determinants of trustworthiness impressions central to trust. The vulnerability model can be employed as is or as a utility function within more complex Bayesian frameworks to fit participants’ behavior in different social environments where actions are associated with subjective values and weighted by individual beliefs about others’ behaviors. Hence, the vulnerability model provides an important building block for future theoretical and empirical work across a variety of research fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Yin and Yang Perspective on the Trust Game: Trust and Reciprocity)
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