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The Effect of Relationship Experience on Trust Recovery Following a Breach

“The Effect of Relationship Experience on Trust Recovery Following a Breach,” Oliver Schilke, Martin Reimann, Karen S. Cook, Proceedings of the Natonal Academy of Science (PNAS) September 3, 2013.

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A violation of trust can have quite different consequences, depending on the nature of the relationship in which the trust breach occurs. In this article, we identify a key relationship characteristic that affects trust recovery: the extent of relationship experience before the trust breach. Across two experiments, this investigation establishes the behavioral effect that greater relationship experience before a trust breach fosters trust recovery. A neuroimaging experiment provides initial evidence that this behavioral effect is possible because of differential activation of two brain systems: while decision making after early trust breaches engages structures of a controlled social cognition system (C-system), specifically the anterior cingulate cortex and lateral frontal cortex, decision making after later trust breaches engages structures of an automatic social cognition system (X-system), specifically the lateral temporal cortex. The present findings make contributions to both social psychological theory and the neurophysiology of trust.

Proceedings of the Natonal Academy of Science (PNAS)
2013
Oliver Schilke
Martin Reimann