Three essays on the concept of trust and its foundations

Bauer, Paul Cornelius (2015). Three essays on the concept of trust and its foundations. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science)

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The present dissertation focuses on trust and comprises three empirical essays on the concept itself and its foundations. All three essays investigate trust as an expectation and rely on selfreport measures of trust. Whereas the first two chapters investigate social trust, the third chapter investigates political trust.
Essentially, there are three related important debates to which the following chapters contribute. A first debate discusses problems with current selfreport measures. Scholars recently started to question whether standard trust questions really measure the same across countries and languages. Chapter 1 engages in this debate. Using data from Switzerland it studies whether different trust questions measure the same latent trust constructs across individuals belonging to three different culturallinguistic regions.
The second debate concerns the socalled forms or dimensions of trust. Recently, scholars started investigating whether trust is a onedimensional construct, i.e. whether an individual's trust judgment differs for categories of trustees such as strangers, neighbors, family members and friends or not. Relying on confirmatory factor analysis Chapter 2 investigates whether individuals really do make a difference between different trustee categories and to what extent these judgments can be summarized into higherorder latent trust constructs.
The third debate is concerned with causes of differences in trust across humans. Chapter 3 focuses on the role of laterlife experiences, more precisely victimization experiences and investigates their causal relationship with generalized social trust. Chapter 4 focuses on the impact of direct democratic institutions on the trust relationship between citizens and political authorities.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Bauer, Paul Cornelius, Freitag, Markus


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Igor Peter Hammer

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2015 09:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:47



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)




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