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Scholars as well as ordinary citizens agree that trust is an important lubricant for social relations and that trust helps build a prosperous society. Beyond the importance of trust in our social and personal lives, however, there is little consensus concerning the nature and function of trust. Even the broadest definition of trust as an expectation of natural and social order, a definition on which many Westerners agree, meets objections in some non-Western cultures. For example, a Japanese person will never say, “I trust that the sun will rise again tomorrow.” Furthermore, trust as expectations of the trustee's ability to perform a trusted action is different from trust as expectations of the trustee's intention to perform the same action (Barber 1983). The lack of consensus ...

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