Currently viewing the tag: "trust"

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Distrust is the main reason why leaders impose punishments on the people over whom they have power. This is clearly demonstrated by Marlon Mooijman’s PhD research. ‘Leaders expect other people not to obey the rules, and punish them on the basis of this distrust.’ Ironically, it turns out that these punishments are not very effective and perhaps even exacerbate the situation, continues Mooijman. ‘When people feel distrusted, they are less likely to obey the rules. They see this assumption on the part of the leaders as a sign of disrespect. It also violates an implicit social contract: ‘If you treat me well, I will act accordingly.’ –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone working under a distrustful, cruel leader.

Journaling Prompt: How do you react to a leader who punishes you?

Art Prompt: Distrust

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about leadership styles and how they affect the people being led.

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Pete Seeger Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live

Researcher Dr Wojtek Przepiorka, from the Department of Sociology at Oxford University, said: ‘When acts of generosity occur naturally with no concern for how they are perceived by others, they can be effective signals of trustworthiness. Charity balls are places where people can openly display their generosity, but in this case, because people know they are going to be observed, this might be a strategic gesture and less telling of their true character. We regard acts of genuine generosity as those produced spontaneously and these are widely seen as a reliable indicator of trustworthiness even when they are small gestures. ‘
Professor Diego Gambetta, a Nuffield College Official Fellow from Oxford University who is now on leave at the European University Institute, said: ‘Our experiments showed that cheating comes in clusters — a large portion of people who were mean were also prepared to lie about it, and those who lied were much more likely to be untrustworthy, as if one sin promotes another. It appears that people widely regard generosity and trustworthiness as being “cut from the same cloth” as far as human characteristics are concerned. However, some people display generosity when it is likely to be in their own advantage. In our experiments, we also find that those who are guilty of “strategic” displays of generosity themselves are more likely to spot strategic generosity in others.’ –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a large charity event. Include the internal monologue of a character who is using the event as a strategic way of building trust.

Journaling Prompt: How do you decide that someone is trustworthy?

Art Prompt: Generosity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about creating trust in relationships.

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Distrust is the central motivating factor behind why religious people dislike atheists, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia psychologists.

“Where there are religious majorities — that is, in most of the world — atheists are among the least trusted people,” says lead author Will Gervais, a doctoral student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “With more than half a billion atheists worldwide, this prejudice has the potential to affect a substantial number of people.”…

“This antipathy is striking, as atheists are not a coherent, visible or powerful social group,” says Gervais, who co-authored the study with UBC Associate Prof. Ara Norenzayan and Azim Shariff of the University of Oregon. The study is titled, Do You Believe in Atheists? Distrust is Central to Anti-Atheist Prejudice…

The religious behaviors of others may provide believers with important social cues, the researchers say. “Outward displays of belief in God may be viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness, particularly by religious believers who think that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them,” says Norenzayan. “While atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists’ absence of belief as a public threat to cooperation and honesty.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch about your character’s religious beliefs. Include how he or she feels about people who hold different beliefs.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the biases that you have towards people who hold religious beliefs that are different from your own.

Art Prompt: Religion

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Inform your audience about the basis of religious distrust and give them tools to guard against it in themselves.

Photo Credit: Life in Flintville on Flickr


People who loved her always said Bessie’s face was better than a beautiful one, for it told nothing but the truth about itself. It did not say, “Come, admire me,” as some faces say, but, “Come, trust me if you can.” -Our Bessie, Rosa N. Carey

Writing Prompt: Describe a person’s face without using a physical description.

Journaling Prompt: Describe your own face as you would like people to see you.

Art Prompt: Honest face

Creative NonFiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Describe someone or someplace without giving a physical description.

Photo Credit: cinnamon_girl on Flickr.


James talks portfolios

“People have high status because other people like and admire them. The result is that high-status individuals come to expect that others are going to treat them well, which makes them more likely to trust,” Lount said.

“The road from high status to increased trust is one paved with positive expectations of others’ motives.”
In a workplace, that means that bosses, who generally have more status than their employees, may be more trusting during initial encounters. Of course, levels of trust may change as people work together.
“But that initial encounter is really important because it shapes future behavior,” Lount said. “If your first signal is that you don’t fully trust someone, that could undermine future trust development.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about first impressions.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you decide to trust people and how you think status affects your decision.

Art Prompt: Status

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Here’s an easy way to decide if a person is trustworthy. Watch how they act when they are embarrassed.

“Embarrassment is one emotional signature of a person to whom you can entrust valuable resources. It’s part of the social glue that fosters trust and cooperation in everyday life,” said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a coauthor of the study published in this month’s online issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Not only are the UC Berkeley findings useful for people seeking cooperative and reliable team members and business partners, but they also make for helpful dating advice. Subjects who were more easily embarrassed reported higher levels of monogamy, according to the study.

“Moderate levels of embarrassment are signs of virtue,” said Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper. “Our data suggests embarrassment is a good thing, not something you should fight.” The paper’s third author is UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, an expert on pro-social emotions.

Researchers point out that the moderate type of embarrassment they examined should not be confused with debilitating social anxiety or with “shame,” which is associated in the psychology literature with such moral transgressions as being caught cheating.

While the most typical gesture of embarrassment is a downward gaze to one side while partially covering the face and either smirking or grimacing, a person who feels shame, as distinguished from embarrassment, will typically cover the whole face, Feinberg said. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character who gets embarrassed. How does he or she react?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were embarrassed.

Art Prompt: Embarassment

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the signs they can use to tell if someone is trustworthy.

Photo Credit: hj91 on Flickr