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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (12) : 1408-1417     DOI:
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The Influence of Positive Emotions on Interpersonal Trust: Clues Effects
HE Xiao-Li;WANG Zhen-Hong;WANG Ke-Jing
(1 School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University; Key Lab of Behavior and Cognitive Psychology, Shaanxi Province, Xi’an 710062, China)
(2 Department of Psychology, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China)
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Abstract  Although the existing studies have explored the effects of positive emotions on the interpersonal trust (Dunn & Schweitzer, 2005; Lount, 2010), the influence of positive emotions on the interpersonal trust that can be affected by the setting and characteristics of trustees calls for further studies. In this study, two experiments were conducted to compare different influences of positive emotions on interpersonal trust in related or unrelated settings.
In the first experiment, a writing task was employed to induce 102 undergraduate subjects’ emotions of happiness, anger and neutral condition in an unrelated setting, and a trust game and direct report method were used in the experiment to explore how positive emotions could influence interpersonal trust in unrelated settings. In the second experiment, information feedback method was employed to induce 71 undergraduate subjects’ emotions of happiness, anger and neutral condition in related settings, and a trust game and direct report method were used in the experiment to explore how positive emotions could influence interpersonal trust in related settings.
The results of the two experiments show that when individuals are acquainted with the trustees and are under the positive emotions in the unrelated setting, the amount of trust investment and trust of direct report under the positive emotions are significantly higher than that under the neutral and the negative emotions. When individuals are strangers to the trustees and are under the positive emotions in an unrelated setting, emotions do not influence trust. Secondly, incidental emotions can also greatly influence trust in related settings. When individuals are acquainted with the trustees and are under the positive emotions in related settings, the amount of trust investment is significantly higher than that under the neutral and the negative emotions. And when the individuals are strangers to the trustees in related settings, the amount of trust investment and trust of direct report under the positive emotions are also significantly higher than that under the neutral and the negative emotions, and interpersonal trust is not significant when it is under the neutral and the negative emotions.
As a result, the conclusion that the influence of positive emotions on interpersonal trust can be affected by setting and characteristics of trustees as clues effects may safely be drawn.
Keywords positive emotions      interpersonal trust      clues effects     
Corresponding Authors: WANG Zhen-Hong   
Issue Date: 30 December 2011
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HE Xiao-Li
WANG Zhen-Hong
WANG Ke-Jing
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HE Xiao-Li,WANG Zhen-Hong,WANG Ke-Jing. The Influence of Positive Emotions on Interpersonal Trust: Clues Effects[J]. , 2011, 43(12): 1408-1417.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/      OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2011/V43/I12/1408
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