Expectations of trustworthiness in cross-status interactions

Mauricio Salgado, Javier Núñez, Bernardo Mackenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the literature on trust is vast, little is known about the attributes that trigger or inhibit trusting others we do not know. Using a vignette version of the trust game, we addressed the role that social standing plays in estimating trustworthiness of strangers in cross-status interactions in Chile, a non-WEIRD context also characterized by high inequality and social segregation. While we found a positive relationship between social status and generalized trust, we found no relationship between the social status of trustors and trusting behavior in the game. Besides, trustees’ income was the most important attribute for trustors to decide how much to trust. We also found that higher-income trustees are less trusted in general, particularly by lower-status trustors. Finally, the results revealed that the influence of income differences on trust was higher for lower-status participants: they are more trustful of others of similar status. We did not observe a similar effect of ingroup favoritism on trust among higher-status participants. Thus, higher levels of relational or particularized trust were found among participants of lower social status compared to those of higher social status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102596
JournalSocial Science Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Prosocial behavior
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Trust
  • Vignette experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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