Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

CeDEx 2015-19: The value of vulnerability: The transformative capacity of risky trust (revised version available 2016-17)


The ‘grammar of trust’ is one the most explored loci in game theory and behavioural economics. However, still much needs to be understood about the nature of trust in non-enforceable, personalised interactions, in markets and within organizations. This experimental study aims at contributing to the understanding of new dimensions of trust by exploring how risky and vulnerable trust may foster a trustee’s behavioural change. It investigates trustee’s positive reciprocity when the intentional vulnerability of the trustor is both manifestly salient and dependent upon the trustee’s revealed type. The results support the transformative nature of risky trust by showing the capacity of vulnerable trust to generate more fairness and reciprocity in untrustworthy people.
 There is a revised version of this paper 2016-17 and it has now been published in Judgment and Decision Making 12(4), 408-414


Luigino Bruni and Fabio Tufano

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Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2015

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