Particularly if you’ve been burned in the past, one of life’s biggest dilemmas can be working out who to trust – from relationships to friendships and family.
Some people blab all their secrets to everyone, but others prefer to confide in a smaller circle. But how do we decide what makes someone worthy of our trust? It’s the golden question that so many people would dream of knowing the answer to.
A recent paper, published in the September issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reports the results of a series of experiments, with the conclusion that “guilt-proneness” is one of the strongest predictors of trustworthiness.
In other words, if it seems like someone will feel guilty for sharing your secrets or letting you down, then they seem trustworthy
The study employed a mixture of techniques, including trust games and questioning, to measure guilt-proneness alongside responsibility, trust and other personality traits.
It found that, in addition to a guilt-proneness, people who gave the impression of having a large sense of responsibility were also seen as trustworthy.
So there you have it, folks, now there's no excuse for trusting the wrong people. Sort of.