he Interrelationship Between Trust and Trust Functions. A New Approach for the Measurement of Trust Towards Fellow Human Beings

The present paper’s aim is to propose a new approach for measurement of trust towards fellow human beings. In the literature, there are numerous criticisms of the empirical identification and interpretation of trust towards unknown others. Studies that try to reflect on these critical remarks by different kinds of refinements usually address only particular issues regarding to survey tools & techniques, operationalization, and statistical methods, without more comprehensive revisions. This paper, on the contrary, strives to support its reflections on how to reconsider trust measurement by theoretical contributions. In order to achieve that, the proposed argument invokes Piotr Sztompka’s concept (1999) about the culture of trust, and his distinction between trust and trust functions. At first, the paper elaborates on how the interlinked consideration of trust and its certain micro- and macro-level manifestations (identified as trust functions by Sztompka) can help to better understand the phenomenon of trust towards fellow human beings. Then, in the second part, a comparative statistical analysis describes a more complex empirical framing of trust based on open-source databases from the European Social Survey.

Released: Replika 126, 69–85.
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