Paul C. Bauer
Clearing the Jungle: Conceptualising Trust and Trustworthiness

Pp. 17-34 in: Raquel Barradas de Freitas, Sergio Lo Iacono (Eds.): Trust Matters: Cross-Disciplinary Essays. 2021. Oxford: Hart

This study explores the meaning of the concepts of trust and trustworthiness. Despite the concepts’ popularity and indisputable relevance, interested scholars face a conceptual ‘jungle’ that is hard to pervade. Pursuing conceptual analysis, building on and summarizing previous definitions and research, I attempt to provide a general definition for both concepts. This conception may serve as a starting point for future research, as well as a basis on which to analyse research done thus far. It is flexible enough to describe a wide variety of situations in which both concepts play a role and sets a clear boundary between the concepts themselves, and the causes or consequences high or low levels of trust and trustworthiness may have. In addition, it helps to isolate trust and trustworthiness from other closely linked concepts.