Perceived trustworthiness of knowledge sources: The moderating impact of relationship length

Daniel Z. Levin, Ellen M. Whitener, Rob Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations


Prior meta-analytic evidence has indicated no association between relationship length and perceived trustworthiness. Viewing trustors as information processors, the authors propose a model in which relationship length, although having no direct effect on perceived trustworthiness, moderates the association between perceived trustworthiness and the basis on which people decide to trust each other. Specifically, as trustors learn about others, they base their trust on different kinds of information (demographic similarity, trustworthy behavior, and shared perspective). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses of a field survey of supervisors and subordinates from 3 companies (N = 88) provide evidence consistent with this prediction: Perceived trustworthiness is associated with demographic similarity in newer relationships, with trustworthy behavior in relationships that are neither brand new nor old but in-between, and with shared perspective in older relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1171
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


  • Information processing
  • Relationship length
  • Trust


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