The Linkage between Trust and the Basic Human Values

The aim of the paper is twofold: at first it tries to link the midrange theory of trust and the concept of Basic Human Values related to Shalom H. Schwartz through a multi-theoretical framework by identifying their common narrative constructions which grasp the same phenomena with different notions; while secondly it examines this theoretical linkage by an empirical secondary analysis. The argument starts with the proposal that showing trust to someone in a given interaction is based on an emotionally and morally justified commitment towards people in general. Therefore, trust is a subjective disposition traces back to emotionally and morally relevant life-experiences. Schwartz’s theory similarly claims that the individual value-set, i.e. the individually assessed relative relevancy of the basic values, refers to a subjective stance which ontologically frames one’s cognition and praxes. Schwartz stresses that values can be grouped, categorized, differentiated according to types, and defined by dimensions. In line with these value-theoretical model-logics two oppositional value-sets could be distinguished: one is a self-centered stance prioritizing fixed, static, and unchallenged references in the social relations, while the other is a self-transcendent understanding respects diversity and facilitates dynamical progressions. This value-set-related interpretation could be linked to the above mentioned argument about trust. After the paper elaborates these theoretical interplays, it examines the proposed conceptual linkages by a secondary analysis aims to reveal that those who trust more people in general have different individual value-sets compare to those ones who trust less their fellows. The inquiry finds out that the assumption was right, i.e. subjects who have more trust in people, they appreciate more the values about self-transcendent understandings and openness to change.

Released: Replika 113, 45–60.