Hellenic Studies Program: “The Paradox of Trust in a “Low” Trust Society: Insights from the Case of Greece”

Event time: 
Monday, April 1, 2024 - 4:00pm
Henry R. Luce Hall, Room 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
Event description: 

The Hellenic Studies Program presents

Effrosyni Charitopoulou, Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University: 

“The Paradox of Trust in a “Low” Trust Society: Insights from the Case of Greece.”

Low levels of social trust are widely seen as an impediment to economic development and social cohesion. Trust is measured mainly via surveys: metrics are used extensively in cross-national studies and percolate back to inform societal debates. However, the way in which trust is empirically approached is subject to two problems: measurement bias and the relation between attitudes and behavior. We address both problems focusing on Greece, currently ranked as one of Europe’s least trusting societies. We do so by using four methods: survey questionnaires, ethnography, trust games, and a field experimental exercise. Our combined findings strongly suggest both measurement bias and a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior. We explain this discrepancy and explore the drivers of trusting behavior. Our findings carry important implications about how we measure, study, and theorize interpersonal trust as well as the practice of assigning a unique trust score to entire societies.

Open to: 
General Public