In my latest answer, I explained the concepts of benevolence-based trust and integrity-based trust:

Intentions are more important than honesty for building benevolence-based trust.

So, a pro-social deception, even if found out, can still make Alice trust that your friend has good intentions towards her. [...]

Although prosocial lies increase benevolence-based trust, they harm integrity-based trust.

Meaning that next time Alice asks your friend if a dress looks good on her, and your friend answers with yes, Alice might think twice before taking that as an answer: She might start wondering if you're just being kind or really being honest.

I'm currently in a situation with a few people where there's a lot of benevolence-based trust, but it's getting in the way of the integrity-based trust.

For example, there's been some private stuff going on that has my mother regularly voicing she feels like a bad mom. Whenever I tell her that's not true, and that she did a good job of raising all her kids, and that whatever those kids are struggling with now isn't her fault, she flat out thanks me for my kind words, but you can see she doesn't believe them.

I do want her to believe me though, and I've told her such. It doesn't help much. I tried being more honest and avoiding any pro-social deceptions, but that's not doing much good either. It mostly leads to people believing I'm only honest when I have something to say that isn't all that kind.

I realize that due to some past interactions with these people, while they still trust I have good intentions, they just can't get themselves to trust that I am also speaking the truth. I'd like to restore a certain balance here, work back to a relationship with these people where they can trust I have good intentions and also trust me to be honest whenever I say something kind.

When there's a severe unbalance between levels of benevolence-based trust and integrity-based trust, what techniques are scientifically proven ways to restore a certain level of integrity-based trust?

NOTE: This question is about academic research on this topic and scientifically proven ways to restore integrity-based trust. As such, answers should link to research, not just personal experience, to meet our citation expectations.

  • Are you asking about scientifically proven ways to increase your mothers self confidence (which I, purposefully using that description, would not necessarily construct as only as a trust issue), or are you posting a hypothetical / explanatory example in search for a - somewhat specific - soc-psych mechanism? – Stian Yttervik Sep 27 '19 at 11:48
  • @StianYttervik The latter. The situation with mom is an explanatory example I used to illustrate the unbalance that can be there and the problems it may lead to, and I'm hoping someone can dig up some scientific studies that show there's an interpersonal skills way to address this unbalance. – Tinkeringbell Sep 27 '19 at 12:07
  • Honestly you can't put everyone into a box. To do so eliminates personality, story, trauma, etc... and treats everyone identical. The question needs to be better scoped in parameters as well as intent, but with the example given a professional opinion based on human interaction in relational dynamics with specific individuals is the only way to appropriately answer this. I would redo this question for a more exact scientific goal or close this as too ambiguous. – mutt Sep 27 '19 at 19:41
  • You may want to have a look at the study by Kim et al. [1] (which is related, but does not directly answer your question). [1] Kim, Peter H., et al. "Removing the shadow of suspicion: the effects of apology versus denial for repairing competence-versus integrity-based trust violations." Journal of applied psychology 89.1 (2004): 104. – simplemind Sep 29 '19 at 9:52

Prior work has often assumed trust to be fragile—easily broken and difficult to repair. We investigate this proposition in a laboratory study and find that trust harmed by untrustworthy behavior can be effectively restored when individuals observe a consistent series of trustworthy actions. Trust harmed by the same untrustworthy actions and deception, however, never fully recovers—even when deceived participants receive a promise, an apology, and observe a consistent series of trustworthy actions. We also find that a promise to change behavior can significantly speed the trust recovery process, but prior deception harms the effectiveness of a promise in accelerating trust recovery.

Maurice E.Schweitzer, John C.Hershey, Eric T.Bradlow. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Volume 101, Issue 1, September 2006, Pages 1-19

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.