Perspective and Characteristics of Trust: Understanding Trust in Different Disciplines

Perspective and Characteristics of Trust: Understanding Trust in Different Disciplines

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4765-7.ch001
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Trust plays a crucial role in our social life to facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefits. With the rapid growth of digital computing and networking technologies, especially in mobile domains, trust becomes an important aspect in the design, development, and maintenance of secure computing systems and mobile systems. Trust is a complicated concept. For understanding it in a comprehensive way, this chapter introduces various perspectives of trust in different disciplines, investigates the factors that influence trust and summarizes its basic characteristics. As the first chapter, it also provides a guideline for reading the whole book.
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2. Perception Of Trust Concept

What is trust? Referring to Figure 1, we can see that trust is the reliance of a kid on his/her parents. It is a risk to put your life into the hands of colleagues or friends; it is about secret sharing; it relates to loyal and truthful; it is collaboration for achieving a common target and gaining a mutual benefit; it is a kind of dependence facing a danger; it is also a belief on a person’s skills, competence and capabilities with regard to professional knowledge and technologies, e.g., a doctor’s medical treatment skills.

Figure 1.

The concept of trust


We can find various definitions of trust in the literature. For example, it can be loosely defined as a state involving confident positive expectations about another’s motives with respect to oneself in situations entailing risk (Boon & Holmes, 1991). This definition highlights three main characteristics of trust. First, a trust relationship involves at least two entities: a trusting subject named trustor and a trusting object named trustee, reliant on each other for a mutual benefit. Second, trust involves uncertainty and risk. There is no perfect guarantee to ensure that the trustee will live up to the trustor’s expectation. Third, the trustor has faith in the trustee’s honesty and benevolence, and believes that the trustee will not betray his/her risk-assuming behavior.

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