Survey and behavioral measurements of interpersonal trust

Anthony M. Evans*, William Revelle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Although many studies treat trust as a situational construct, individual differences can be used to study and predict trusting behavior. We report two studies, the first showing the psychometric properties of a new trust inventory (the Propensity to Trust Survey or PTS), the second study validating this inventory using the standard economic task, the Investment Game. The first study utilized online survey data (N > 8000) to show that the PTS scales were reliable and measured broad constructs related to Big Five personality domains. Trust was related to extraversion and negative neuroticism, and trustworthiness was related to agreeableness and conscientiousness. The second study (N = 90) validated the PTS trust scale as a predictor of behavior in the Investment Game. These findings are evidence that trust and trustworthiness are compound personality traits, and that PTS scales are preferable to general Big Five measures for predicting trusting behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1593
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Behavioral economics
  • Big Five
  • Investment Game
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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