Title

Nature cues increase trust in novel encounters

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date

8-2015

Abstract

Among the social costs of urbanization and work in urban environments is that they leads to more mistrust among strangers, making it more difficult to reap the many social and organizational benefits of trust. Past research has proposed greater population density, size, and diversity as explanations for why city residents trust strangers less than small town residents. We argue that past research overlooked one simple difference between more and less urban environments—the amount of cues of nature that people encounter in their everyday lives. The habitat preference model suggests that humans acquired preferences for natural habitats over the course of their evolutionary history, causing people to feel safer in environments that resemble their natural habitats. We reasoned that the relative absence of nature cues in cities decreases people’s sense of safety. This, in turn, makes them less likely to make themselves additionally vulnerable in interpersonal interactions by trusting strangers. Three studies, using experimental and correlational field methods, found results consistent with the theory.

Keywords

nature, safety, trust

Discipline

Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Academy of Management Proceedings: 2015 Meeting, Vancouver, BC, August 7-11

Identifier

10.5465/AMBPP.2015.17964abstract

Publisher

Academy of Management

City or Country

San Diego

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2015.17964abstract

Comments

Best Paper Proceedings

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