Methodological and Practical Challenges of Interdisciplinary Trust Research
Hendriks F, Distel B, Engelke K. M., Westmattelmann D, Wintterlin F
Trust plays a pivotal role in many different contexts and thus has been investigated by researchers in a variety of disciplines. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive overview of methodological approaches to investigating trust and its antecedents. We explain how quantitative methods may be used to measure expectations about a trustee or instances of communication about trust efficiently, and we explain how using qualitative measures may be beneficial to researching trust in less explored contexts and for further theory development. We further point out that mixed methods research (uniting both quantitative and qualitative approaches) may be able to grasp the full complexity of trust. Finally, we introduce how agent-based modeling may be used to simulate and predict complex trust relationships on different levels of analysis. We elaborate on challenges and advantages of all these different methodological approaches to researching trust and conclude with recommendations to guide trust researchers in their planning of future investigations on both situational trust and long-term developments of trust in different contexts, and we emphasize why we believe that such undertakings will benefit from interdisciplinary approaches.
trust; measurement of trust; quantitative research; qualitative research; mixed methods research; agent-based modeling