Dynamic Trust Processes after Violation: Trust Dissolution and Restoration
Fulmer, C. Ashley
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Trust and violation go hand in hand in our everyday life. However, few studies have directly examined the effects of violation on trust and delineated the nonlinear patterns of trust changes after violation. In this research, I focused on trust dynamics in two phases after violation: trust dissolution and trust restoration. Specifically, I examined how the individual differences of collectivistic self-construal and group identification, in conjunction with the situational variables of violation magnitude and trustee's group membership (ingroup vs. outgroup), moderate the relationship between trust violation and changes in trust level and trajectory across the two phases. The study adopted an economic game methodology--the Investment Game (Berg, Dickhaut, & McCabe, 1995)--that allows repeated measures of trust. Results from discontinuous growth modeling indicated that the trust changes after violation, in dissolution and restoration, are a function of violation magnitude, collectivistic self-construal, ingroup and outgroup dynamics, and group identification. Further, the dynamic patterns revealed a black sheep effect. Individuals high on collectivistic self-construal and group identification exhibited a larger and faster trust decrease during dissolution and a slower increase during restoration after a large than a small ingroup violation. High collectivists high on group identification also showed slower trust restoration after a large ingroup violation than high collectivists low on group identification. However, the black sheep effect was absent when collectivists experienced an outgroup violation or were low on group identification. Implications for future research and intercultural relations are discussed.