Trust in social dilemmas

Paul A.M. Van Lange, Bettina Rockenbach, Toshio Yamagishi

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review


Trust is one of the most classic themes across the social and behavioral sciences. It is also a topic is that is strongly intertwined with cooperation and social dilemmas, and there is little doubt that trust is an effective tool to promote cooperation, even if cooperation without trust is possible under certain circumstances. The past decade has also increasingly revealed emerging themes, new theoretical developments, intriguing questions, and a challenging debate revolving around the evolution, as well as strengths and limitations, of trust in social dilemmas and other situations of interdependence. Major societal issues are partially issues of trust: the financial crisis and the refuge crisis are two examples. Why can systems of excessive bonuses emerge and survive? Why is it that we tend to approach individuals with a healthy dose of trust, but we tend to be suspicious of other groups-or even individual members of other groups? Some scientists make the claim that it is ultimately trust-or rather the lack of it-that undermines intergroup relations. One of the next challenges is to examine the workings of trust and how best to organize a system that exploits the opportunities of trust within groups and between groups in contemporary society. We hope this book provides a state of the art of this literature and that the themes discussed in this book will indeed turn out to be prominent ones in future research on trust in social dilemmas-whether they operate at the level of interpersonal or intergroup relations.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages289
ISBN (Electronic)9780190630782
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Cooperation
  • Culture
  • Organizations
  • Social dilemmas
  • Societies
  • Trust


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