The Trust Quadrant

Trust Quadrant

In order to give a valuable insight into the underpinnings of the notion of trust among humans, we came up with what we call the Trust Quadrant. There are 2 dimensions involved in defining the Trust Quadrant: the first dimension is the sincerity of a given individual, the second dimension is the competence, i.e. the expertise and/or experience, of the considered individual. The combination of those 2 dimensions positions each individual, with regard to a given topic, within one of the four quadrants.

Distrust arises when an individual’s sincerity and competence, as perceived by another individual or a group of individuals, are both low. Conversely, trust exists when an individual’s sincerity and competence are perceived as high. Trust is of primary importance, it has an impact on the brain that encourages risk-taking and decision-making.

When an individual’s sincerity is high but his competence is low or unknown, the sentiment that prevails among the people interacting with him is the belief in his goodwill. Contrariwise, when an individual’s sincerity, as sensed by others, is low but his competence is high, the sentiment that prevails among those who interact with him is the belief in competence. When belief in goodwill and/or belief in competence are low, willingness to take risk is low too.

It has to be stressed that there is a third dimension, because the Trust Quadrant has to be applied per topic, which means that for different topics, an individual can belong to different quadrants. For example, an individual can be trusted for financial services and distrusted with regard to healthcare products.

Rafik Hanibeche & Adel Amri (Trustiser Founders)