It All Begins With Trust

Two decades ago, Paul Slovic, pioneer of risk perception research, pointed out that public concern about an environmental or technological risk issue is associated with trust in risk managers. In general, trust in risk management is negatively related to risk perception. This was an important observation because it opened a possible pathway to affecting public risk perception and improving risk management: If we understood trust, and if we could affect levels of trust, then we might also be able to affect levels of risk perception and, ultimately, risk acceptance/rejection.

In this website, we describe an approach to the understanding of social trust, which we, in collaboration with a number of colleagues, have developed in response to Slovic’s insight. The fundamentals of our approach constitute the basic form of the TCC Model of Trust, Confidence, and Cooperation, shown on the right. At the heart of the model is the distinction between trust and confidence, the importance and usefulness of which are discussed in several of the Trust Topics, which also cover other important trust-related issues. Links to more extensive discussions of trust topics, as well as empirical tests of the TCC Model, are provided in Trust Resources. The News and Views section provides timely commentaries on the role of trust in public affairs as well as insights from our archives. In Projects, we describe what we are up to now.

Welcome to the TCC Model: Trust, Confidence, and Cooperation!