Rotenberg, KJ, Teunisse, AK, Case, TI, Fitness, J and Sweller, N (2023) How Much Should We Trust Others? The Relationship Between Trust Beliefs in Others and Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 42 (1). 85 - 102. ISSN 0736-7236

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Introduction: This study compared the Trust Promotes Adjustment (TPA) approach with the Centralist Approach to Trust (CAT) regarding the relationship between trust beliefs in others and psychosocial adjustment. The TPA predicted linear, whereas the CAT predicted quadratic, relationships between the two. The predictions were tested by analyses for the curvilinearity of data gathered by Teunisse et al. (2020). Method: Six hundred and fifty-one adults (M age = 24.9 years, SD = 10.4 years) completed standardized scales of trust beliefs in others, agreeableness, and social intelligence. Results: In support of TPA, trust beliefs in others were linearly associated with social awareness. In support of CAT, quadratic relations were found between trust beliefs in others and both agreeableness and social skills. Individuals with very low or very high trust beliefs showed lower agreeableness and social skills than those with the midrange of trust beliefs or the linear relationship between the variables. Individuals showed optimal psychosocial adjustment when trust beliefs were between 1.5 standard deviations above and below the mean. Discussion: These findings challenge the traditional TPA, which asserts that increasing trust in others corresponds to increasing psychosocial adjustment. The findings support the CAT hypothesis that too little or too much trust in others is associated with psychosocial maladjustment with implications for psychopathology.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted manuscript of a published journal. To access the final version contact the publishers directly at
Uncontrolled Keywords: trust beliefs; linear relations; quadratic relations; psychosocial adjustment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2023 11:31
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2023 11:31

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