Understanding trust: The role of false consensus

Jeffrey V. Butler, Paola Giuliano, Luigi Guiso 18 December 2012

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Every day millions of people deal with others they know nothing or very little about. A Norwegian tourist buys a carpet in Casablanca. A woman in Mexico City hails a cab on the street. A person with a never-before-experienced eye pain asks an ophthalmologist for advice. In each case, individuals must form a belief about the reliability of a counterparty to decide whether to deal with this person at all.

How do individuals form beliefs about how others will behave in the absence of prior interaction? And do these initial beliefs persist in the face of evidence?

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  trust, Culture, false consensus

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