Trust refers to a person's confident belief that another's motivations are benevolent toward him or her and that the other person will therefore be responsive to his or her needs. Trust is typically viewed as a belief about a specific person, though it has also been viewed as a personality trait characterizing people's tendency to trust or distrust others in general.

Evolutionary Foundations

Evolutionary thinkers have argued that issues of trust were critical to the survival of early humans. Because one's welfare depended on cooperation and exchange with others, for instance in trading berries or other fruit for meat, people needed to anticipate who they could count on to engage in fair exchanges and who, instead, deserved their suspicions as possible cheaters. They also needed to ...

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