The foundations of individuals’ generalized social trust: a review

Peter Thisted Dinesen, R.H.F.P. Bekkers

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter reviews the literature on the causes of individuals' generalized social trust (trust in unknown others) from a wide-range of social science disciplines. We structure the review around two broad classes of explanations: dispositional explanations (trust as a disposition) and experiential explanations (trust as a response to individual experiences). Specific attention is paid to the potential for drawing causal inferences - based on quality of data, and the methods used - in the studies reviewed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrust in Social Dilemmas
EditorsPaul Van Lange, Bettina Rockenbach, Toshio Yamagishi
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford, UK: Oxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780190630782
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameSeries in Human Cooperation
PublisherOxford University Press

VU Research Profile

  • Governance for Society


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