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The attitude of expecting good performance from another party, whether in terms of loyalty, goodwill, truth, or promises. The importance of trust as a kind of invisible glue that binds society together is most visible when it is lost. Trust involves an element of risk, and epistemologists can have trouble categorizing it as rational, since it works best in advance, for example to motivate performance on occasions when defection may be to the advantage of the person trusted. Economically trust is precious, enabling parties to bypass the costly precautions and safeguards needed in transactions with parties whom one does not trust. Trustworthiness is a virtue, subsuming varieties such as truthfulness and fidelity. It is a general ambition of democratic politicians to be trusted whether or not they are trustworthy.

Subjects: Social sciencesSociology

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