Effect of relationship experience on trust recovery following a breach

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Abstract

A violation of trust can have quite different consequences, depending on the nature of the relationship in which the trust breach occurs. In this article, we identify a key relationship characteristic that affects trust recovery: the extent of relationship experience before the trust breach. Across two experiments, this investigation establishes the behavioral effect that greater relationship experience before a trust breach fosters trust recovery. A neuroimaging experiment provides initial evidence that this behavioral effect is possible because of differential activation of two brain systems: while decision making after early trust breaches engages structures of a controlled social cognition system (C-system), specifically the anterior cingulate cortex and lateral frontal cortex, decision making after later trust breaches engages structures of an automatic social cognition system (X-system), specifically the lateral temporal cortex. The present findings make contributions to both social psychological theory and the neurophysiology of trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15236-15241
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume110
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2013

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