‘The less I trust, the less I contribute (or not)?’ The effects of trust, accountability and self-monitoring in social dilemmas
Abstract 10.1002/ejsp.34.abs The present research examined the influence of trust, accountability, and self-monitoring on individual decision makers' willingness to contribute in a give-some game and in an experimental public goods dilemma. Previous research has shown that trust and contributions are positively related such that high trusters generally contribute more than low trusters. The present research questions the pervasiveness of this relation by arguing that low trusters may increase their contributions to the same level as those of high trusters, but only under circumstances where their decisions are highly identifiable to their interaction partner(s). Both studies showed that strong perceptions of trust, high accountability and high self-monitoring influenced contributions positively. In line with predictions, individuals low in trust contributed up to the same level as high trusters when accountability was high rather than low. Moreover, this interaction between trust and accountability was only found among those classified as high self-monitors. Our results suggest that the well-known positive relation between trust and contributions may take a different form when situational cues and individual predispositions are taken into account. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.