ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (11): 1780-1791.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01780

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The theoretical models and brain mechanisms of interpersonal trust game during economic decision-making

ZHANG Wei1; ZHANG Zhen2; GAO Yu2; DUAN Huaping2; WU Xingnan2   

  1. (1 Guiyang Nursing Vocational College, Guiyang 550081, China) (2 School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China)
  • Received:2015-06-20 Online:2016-11-15 Published:2016-11-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Zhen, E-mail:


Widely regarded as a paradoxical phenomenon, trust refers to one’s willingness to place one’s resources at the disposal of another party, sometimes without adequate information for judging the other person’s motives, intentions, and actions. As a fundamental social signaling mechanism, trust plays an important role in the development and maintenance of well-functioning relationships. Using the Trust Game, researchers have explored cognitive neural mechanisms of interpersonal trust and have proposed four theories including the betrayal aversion theory, social norm theory, moral norm theory, and the default behavior model. Neuroimaging studies have indicated certain brain regions to be differentially associated with the decision to trust, including medial prefrontal cortex, caudate nucleus, amygdala, and insula. Future research should emphasize the integration of different theories under the framework of multi-level analysis, pursue functional connectivity analysis of brain regions, and take individual difference factors into consideration.

Key words: economic decision-making, trust game, theoretical model, neural mechanisms