A lack of material resources decreases trust propensity

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



This research tested the idea that a lack of material resources decreases trust propensity because it makes people less able to cope with the negative consequences of others’ untrustworthy behavior. Two studies found evidence consistent with the theory. Study 1 found a recursive longitudinal relationship between trust propensity and income such that lower income decreased trust propensity, and less trust propensity led to lower levels of income. Study 2 found that making individuals feel as if they lacked material resources decreased their trust propensity, and this effect was mediated by a sense of vulnerability caused by a lack of material resources. These findings introduce an important new consideration to research on adequate pay in organizations, qualify the conclusions of cross-sectional observational research on trust and economic conditions, and extend the understanding of the causes of the self-perpetuating nature of poverty.


Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


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

City or Country

Vancouver, BC

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