The first part of the dissertation sheds light on how perceptions of competence, benevolence and integrity affect trust in for-profit firms. Chapter two demonstrates that these antecedents have different effects on trust depending on the interaction context: impersonal trust in firms, for example through a website, is mainly driven by perceptions of competence, while interpersonal trust in a firm via an employee benefits more from benevolence. In chapter three it is shown that benevolent firms are trusted only if their integrity is sufficient, and that this effect is independent from the effect of competence.
The second part of the dissertation discusses an important consequence of public trust: people’s voting behavior. Chapter four demonstrates that low trust in party-neutral political institutions gives rise to other-condemning moral emotions such as anger and contempt, which are channeled into protest votes for relatively populist parties on either side of the political spectrum. In chapter five this relationship is further investigated by building a more elaborate model of political trust and populist voting behavior. It is shown that integrity and competence are important drivers of political trust.
Series: Kurt Lewin Institute Dissertation Series 2014-13
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