Trust, Values, and False Consensus
27 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2015
Date Written: August 2015
Individuals’ beliefs about the trustworthiness of a generic member of the population are both heterogeneous across individuals and persistent across generations. We investigate one mechanism yielding these dual patterns: false consensus. In the context of a trust game experiment, we show that the relationship between behavior and beliefs is consistent with individuals extrapolating their trust beliefs from their own trustworthiness and that this tendency continues even after substantial learning opportunities. We go on to provide evidence suggesting that one's own trustworthiness can be traced back to the values parents transmit to their children during their upbringing.
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