Marguerite Villegas


1 Repairing Broken Trust: The Influence of Positive Induced Emotion and Gender

Authors: Zach Banzon, Marina Caculitan, Gianne Laisac, Stephanie Lopez, Marguerite Villegas


The role of incidental positive emotions and gender on people’s trust decisions have been established by existing research. The aim of this experiment is to address the gap in the literature by examining whether these factors will have a similar effect on trust behavior even after the experience of betrayal. A total of 144 undergraduate students participated in a trust game involving the anonymous interaction of a participant and a transgressor. Of these participants, only 125 (63 males and 62 females) were included in the data analyses. A story was used to prime incidental positive emotions or emotions originally unrelated to the trustee. Recovered trust was measured by relating the proportion of the money passed before and after betrayal. Data was analyzed using two-way analysis of variance having two levels for gender (male, female) and two for priming (with, without), with trust propensity scores entered as a covariate. It was predicted that trust recovery will be more apparent in females than in males but the data obtained was not significantly different between the genders. Induced positive emotions, however, had a statistically significant effect on trust behavior even after betrayal. No significant interaction effect was found between induced positive emotion and gender. The experiment provides evidence that the manipulation of situational variables, to a certain extent, can facilitate the reparation of trust.

Keywords: positive emotions, gender effect, trust game, trust recovery

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