- 中央大学社会科学研究所年報 (ISSN:13432125)
- vol.21, pp.141-163, 2017-09-30
In contemporary society, mobility in urban areas has increased and people have greater opportunity to meet and communicate with strangers. In such situations we typically rely on such things as reputation, personal networks and/or past performance to determine whether or not a person is trustworthy. Occasionally, people also rely on trust stereotypes. The present study, using correspondence analysis for eight nationsʼ data sets on trust, found that three clusters emerge in determining whether or not to trust others before a first meeting. The cluster formed by a combination of “being introduced by friend(s),” “fame or a good reputation,” “performance record” and “word-of-mouth communication or information obtained from other(s)” is the most important cluster; followed by a cluster formed by “high social or occupational status” and “high level of educational background”; and finally a cluster formed by sharing the same birthplace or being graduates of the same school. We call these three clusters the ʻfame and personal network factor,ʼ the ʻhigh achieved status factorʼ and the ʻsame birthplace and school factor,ʼ respectively. Our findings indicate that people in Finland as a nation have a high level of trust. The United States, Japan, and Taiwan are found to be nations of high to middle-level trust, and the Czech Republic is found to be a nation of middle-level trust, all with regard to the fame and personal network factor as the most important in determining a personʼs trustworthiness before ever meeting them. Russia is seen as middle-level trust and Turkey as low-level trust for the high achieved status and same birthplace and school factors. Our findings also indicate that the relationships between gender and the three factors are rather weak among the seven nations. With respect to the fame and personal network factor and the high achieved status factor, males are more closely associated in some nations, while females are more closely associated in the remaining nations.Finland shows no relationship with regard to gender. For the same birthplace and school factors, males rather than females relate with it. Finally, as for the relationship between age and the three factors, the young age strata (i.e., aged 20 to 49) regards the fame and personal network factor as the important among six of eight nations and the older age strata( i.e., 50 and above) regards the high achieved status factor as most important among five nations. Also, the older age strata regards the same birthplace or school and the high achieved status factors as most important in three nations. Overall, the present study supports some of the theoretical discussions and previous experimental findings reported by sociopsychologists.