ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (11): 1859-1871.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01859

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


李梅1,2,3, 李琎2,3, 张冠斐2,3, 钟毅平2,3(), 李红1()   

  1. 1华南师范大学心理学院, 广州 510631
    3认知与人类行为湖南省重点实验室, 长沙 410081
  • 收稿日期:2022-09-22 发布日期:2023-08-30 出版日期:2023-11-25
  • 通讯作者: 钟毅平, E-mail:; 李红, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

Influence of social distance and promise levels on trust decisions: An ERPs study

LI Mei1,2,3, LI Jin2,3, ZHANG Guanfei2,3, ZHONG Yiping2,3(), LI Hong1()   

  1. 1School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
    3Cognition and Human Behavior Key Laboratory of Hunan Province, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2022-09-22 Online:2023-08-30 Published:2023-11-25


为考察承诺水平和社会距离对信任行为的影响及其神经机制, 本研究在承诺者(朋友和陌生人)做出高水平(vs.低水平)的承诺后, 要求被试选择是否信任对方, 同时记录决策时的行为及神经反应。行为结果发现, 相较于陌生人, 当承诺者为朋友时被试会表现出较高的信任行为, 且其信任行为不受承诺水平的影响。然而, 当承诺者是陌生人时, 被试在低水平承诺条件下比高水平承诺条件下表现出更高的信任行为。脑电结果发现, 高水平承诺比低水平承诺诱发了更大的P2波幅。此外, 当承诺者是朋友时, 信任行为所诱发的N2和P3波幅不受承诺水平的影响; 然而, 当承诺者是陌生人时, 被试在低水平承诺条件下的信任行为比高水平承诺条件下的信任行为所诱发的N2波幅更负, 但高水平承诺条件下的信任行为所诱发的P3大于低水平承诺条件。这些结果说明,当承诺者是陌生人时, 人们的信任行为是出于自我利益的考虑; 然而, 当承诺者是朋友时, 个体的信任行为是出于自我和朋友的共同利益的考量。

关键词: 承诺水平, 社会距离, 信任决策, 合理信号理论, 事件相关电位(ERPs)


Previous research has revealed that trust plays an important role in promoting functioning, economic growth, and individual well-being in human society. Trust refers to individuals’ willingness to take risks to hand over their resources to others in the context of social uncertainty. Based on rational signal theory, individuals tend to make social decisions (e.g. trust) according to perceived social information of others, such as social identity, gestures, language, and behaviors. Among these, trustees’ social identity and their promises are important social information that convey whether an individual is trustworthy and reliable. Previous research has only examined the effect of promise levels on trust decisions, or the effect social distance on trust decisions. However, little is known about how promise levels and social distance interact to affect trust behaviors and its neural mechanisms.
We adapted a Trust Game (TG) and the event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the neurocognitive mechanisms of the effect of promise levels and social distance on trust behaviors. In particular, participates were asked to choose whether to trust their friends and strangers when they made high and low-level promises while electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded. Within each round, participants were informed of the promiser and their promise. We adopted two promise levels from previous studies: high-level promises would return 28 yuan (70%), and low-level 12 yuan (30%). The social distance includes both friend and stranger levels. The experiment consisted of 600 trials, including 150 trials for each condition.
The behavioral results indicated that when the promiser was a friend, participants were more likely to invest and this was not affected by promise levels. However, when the promiser was a stranger, participants were more likely to invest when they were informed of low-level promises than high-level promises. The ERP results showed that the P2 was larger for the high-level promises than for the low-level promises. More importantly, when the promiser was a stranger, the N2 was more negative when they were informed of low-level promises than high-level promises. Conversely, the P3 was larger when they were informed of high-level promises than low-level promises. However, when the promiser was a friend, the N2 and P3 amplitudes had no difference.
These results suggest that motivations of trusting behaviors toward friends and strangers are driven by different psychological mechanisms. Individuals trust friends more, and when the promiser is a friend, individuals can be motivated by the mutual interests of self and friends when making trust choices. However, when the promiser is a stranger, individuals are only driven by self-interest, and they do not care about strangers’ benefits when making trust choices. The present study provides insight into how the brain processes the interplay of social distance and promise levels on trust decisions, which broadens the previous insight into understanding trust behaviors.

Key words: promise levels, social distance, trust behavior, rational signal theory, event-related potentials (ERPs)