Beliefs and Trust: An Experiment

J. Vyrastekova, S. Garikipati

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In this paper, we address the concept of trust by combining (i) the self-reported trust and belief in trustworthiness of others from a general unpaid questionnaire, (ii) choices made in a social valuation task designed to measure subjects' distributional preferences, (iii) strategies submitted in the trust game in both roles of the game, and (iv) subjects' beliefs about the strategies of their co-player submitted in the form of probability distributions nad incentivized by the quadratic scoring rule.We show that trust can be expressed as a belief in positive reciprocity of the trustee, and answers to general questionnaire lack predictive power.Distributional preferences also play a role in the decision to trust in that they affect the subjects' beliefs about the positive reciprocity of others.Cooperative subjects are more optimistic in their beliefs and therefore trust more.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • experimental economics
  • trust
  • beliefs
  • distributional preferences


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