Trust and Social Dilemmas: Selected Evidence and Applications

Bogdan State
Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the linkages between trust and cooperation in social dilemmas. In the typical social dilemma individuals do not know what others will do, thus they must make assumptions about the likelihood that others will cooperate. This judgment is sometimes made on the basis of the presumed trustworthiness of the others involved, and, if so, trust makes cooperation possible. However, there are other mechanisms at work. This chapter considers when trust facilitates cooperation and when other factors are more likely to. In addition it discusses briefly the nature of the applications of work on trust and social dilemmas to a wide range of phenomena focusing on collective action in relation to corruption, systems of taxation, environmental issues, and health-related dilemmas as well as those that arise in the sharing economy. It ends with speculation about the potential for solutions of social dilemmas to improve trust in society.