Starting in November 2020 we will work on the DFG-funded project TRUSTME: Measuring and explaining Trust. Please find a summary below.

Team: Dr. Paul C Bauer, Camille M. Landesvatter (

Summary of the project

Starting with early contributions in the 60s, the concept of trust has moved to centre stage in contemporary social science. Social scientists study trust because they assume that high levels of trust reflect a social reality in which people are more trustworthy and tend to cooperate more frequently. The idea that trust is linked to cooperation dates back to the earliest works on the concept. Only actors who trust each other cooperate with each other, i.e., exchange information, resources, etc. Entering a cooperative relationship normally requires a certain level of trust, and the same is necessary to sustain that relationship. Despite the advances that have been made, there is still a lively debate around two central questions: (1) How can we measure trust? and (2) How can we explain differences in trust?

The project “Measuring and Explaining Trust (TRUSTME)” focuses on these questions. The objective of the project is to develop better and more differentiated measures of trust and to investigate why there is such a strong variation of trust across people and situations. Thereby, the project applies a set of novel and innovative techniques to achieve these research objectives.

Relevant publications:

Bauer, Paul C., Florian Keusch, and Frauke Kreuter (2019). "Trust and cooperative behavior: Evidence from the realm of data-sharing." PLOS ONE.

Bauer, Paul C., and Markus Freitag (2018). "Measuring trust." The oxford handbook of social and political trust.