Can we trust people?

Statistically speaking the extent to which we’re able to trust others reflects on our ideological leanings. So the answer to this question may say more about your politics than anything else. But a new study suggests that our modern pre-disposition to trust strangers may result from a change in social norms e.g. urbanisation and increased market behaviour i.e. increased dealings with other people.

The results of this new study, based on more than 2,000 participants from 15 societies across the globe, show that “fair” behaviour during a bargaining game increases the more a society has incorporated market exchange and world religions.

But all this doesn’t say whether or not we should trust strangers, and to what extent, and in which circumstances. So, in your opinion, are humans intrinsically trustworthy or not?

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