What’s the Price of Trust?

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Trust is important in economies for reducing the cost of trade. But the marketplace has been a place where a few bad actors have driven down the general social level of trust.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely & some other researchers set out to measure how much trust people have in the market. They set up a booth in a Cambridge, Massachusetts mall with signs advertising “Free Money.” They had at different times $1, $10, $20, & $50 bills, one per “customer.” Most people walked right by the offer, not even asking about the deal. When researchers reached out to ask why, most said it looked like a scheme. The consumer has been conditioned to be so suspicious, they don’t even show interest in genuine beneficial offers.

Trust is a precious asset not easily measured in dollar terms, but invaluable in worth. Will platform economies like AirBnB or Grab help solve the trust problem? Customer reviews seem to help, but even sites like TripAdvisor have suffered from breaches of trust. Is it possible to grow the asset of trust in society?

Listen to Professor Ariely talk about the value of trust. 

Learn & practice leader skills, like building trust, @ Soft Power Skills Academy. https://www.softpowerskills.com

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