Scientists study mistrustful relationships

Oct 23, 2006

U.S. scientists say people often report mistrusting others who are different from them, but research doesn't support that contention.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the College of William and Mary found people's actions don't necessarily reflect their stated mistrust. The results of the study are contrary to findings of survey-based studies that have shown diversity hinders trust and cooperation.

"In most surveys, people have reported distrusting those who are different," said Associate Professor Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri's Truman School of Public Affairs. "We wanted to find out if that was just talk, or if it impacted how people act.

"What we found was that differences did not significantly impact actions," he said. "Whatever people might say about trusting or not trusting others, their actions didn't reveal a difference."

Milyo and two colleagues from the College of William and Mary, Lisa Anderson and Jennifer Mellor, reported their research in the September issue of the journal Experimental Economics.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Q&A: Science journalism and public engagement

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

When does Google hand over your data to governments?

Sep 19, 2014

Governments around the world want to know a lot about who we are and what we're doing online and they want communications companies to help them find it. We don't know a lot about when companies hand over ...

Poll surveys residents of two war-torn African nations

Sep 15, 2014

Researchers fanned out in one of the most dangerous corners of the globe late last year, asking residents of a brutalized part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) their thoughts on violence, security, ...

US police use technology to ID troubled officers (Update)

Sep 04, 2014

Police departments across the U.S. are using technology to try to identify problem officers before their misbehavior harms innocent people, embarrasses their employer, or invites a costly lawsuit—from citizens ...

Recommended for you

Q&A: Science journalism and public engagement

26 minutes ago

Whether the public is reading about the Ebola outbreak in Africa or watching YouTube videos on the benefits of the latest diet, it's clear that reporting on science and technology profoundly shapes modern ...

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

User comments : 0