Trusting Strangers - Who Do We Trust and Why?

How exactly do our brains form these snap judgements?⎮29 min 24 sec listen

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When two strangers meet, how do they figure out whether they should trust each other?

Within 100 milliseconds of seeing someone for the first time, you could assess everything from whether you share a cultural or racial identity with a stranger to the width of their jaw. Before you even talk to them for the first time, you have already made a judgement about how trustworthy they are.

Sometimes you make this decision before you even see the person.

In an era when trust in organisations and strangers is falling, what can this teach us about how and why we trust? Science reporter Carl Smith examines the subtle processing at work in this single moment in Trusting Strangers - Who Do We Trust and Why?


Professor Dr Anne Bockler Raettig, Institute for Psychology, Leibniz University Hannover

Dr Clare Sutherland, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

Dr Nicole Nelsen, Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Queensland

Further information

Rethinking Trust.

Dr Clare Sutherland's study collaboration with the University of Western Australia on the basis of trust.

All in the Mind

Lynne Malcolm produced & presented this podcast series via, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio

All in the Mind is RN’s exploration of all things mental—a program about the mind, brain and behaviour, and the endlessly fascinating interactions between them. From dreaming to depression, memory to imagination, psychotherapy to psychopathy, emotion to obsession, All in the Mind explores the human condition through the mind’s eye. While many aspects of our minds remain seductively mysterious, new light is being shed on the way we think and the way we relate to each other all the time. All in the Mind brings together a diverse range of ideas and human experiences through the voices of great thinkers and powerful personal stories.