In recent decades, the attention towards trust has been growing both in science and practice. This attention is not entirely new as it is has been part of various debates since early 1930s and before. In the last attention peak' trust has been studied in various contexts from various perspectives. One of the more recent perspectives is a dynamics perspective, meaning that trust changes over time under in interaction, and in relation to new events and changing contexts.
A very relevant perspective as it takes into account the dynamics that characterize conflict, negotiations, dialogues etc. But what do we actually know about this perspective? In which fields is it applied? And what are future research questions? In relation to these and more, the following thesis topics are formulated as starting point. These topics need further specification, can be related to various life science topics, can be the focus for a literature review (as part of BSc thesis) or combined with empirical research (as part of MSc thesis). Feel free to contact me and discuss further.
Trust dynamics, past, present and future
The dynamic perspective on trust is relatively new and to my knowledge no review has been made focussing on this perspective. So this topic focusses on getting an overview of the current literature on trust dynamics related to environment, health, climate or one of the other life science topics. What has been done, what is the current status, what interesting insights can we draw from this and what could the future hold?
Trust in health care
The role of trust in doctor-patient relations is of a specific kind as the role of medical doctors is still that of an expert on which patients rely. Therefore it is expected that the role of trust in these contexts is also very specific. This topic has two possibilities:
- A literature review on the role of trust in doctor-patient relations.
- Exploring the presence and role of trust in doctor-patient relations by analysing conversations from the GP’s office.
Trust and serious gaming (in Dutch)
Serious gaming is a relatively new and promising tool in many policy situations, conflict situations or other setting where people deal with complex issues. In the negotiations related to these games, it is expected that trust plays a role. However, the questions is how? Currently we have audiotaped a series of gaming (in Dutch!) that focus around the role of municipal councils in civic initiatives for the design and development of public spaces. This data set can be used to explore to which extend and how trust plays a role in these contexts.
Trust in persuasion, beyond source characteristic
In communication science, persuasive communication is an important sub-field on its own. In this field, trustworthiness is one of the main source characteristics. Due to this large focus on trustworthiness, the role of trust in persuasive communication is often approached from a trustworthiness perspective. This leaves the question, what is left? What kind of studies did focus on persuasive communication beyond trustworthiness? What did they find? And what questions emerge from that?
Trust as a heuristic in negotiations
Related to the foregoing topic, is trust as a heuristic. Lewicki & Bunker (2012) discuss trust as a heuristic, as a rule of thumb that allow us to take decisions fast and efficient. Framing trust as a heuristic, trust can become an interesting strategy for persuasive communication. However, the question remains what happened with this insight after 2012? What present knowledge can be found?
Relation between trust and confidence
If we view trust as a concept playing a role in interaction, confidence is often (since Luhmann, 1979) associated with institutions. The subconscious feeling of trust that we do not take into consideration any more. For instance our confidence in institutional arrangements like our legal or democratic system. However, how does this confidence in institutions relate to trust, for instance trust in bank employees, how does that relate to confidence in the financial bank system? This is the focus for this topic? What do we know about this relation? In which context? What are pressing issues that are left open?