Vol. 39 No. 1 (2019): The Prismatic Shape of Trust

Trust, Implicit Attitudes, and the Malleability of Group Identities

Sarah Songhorian
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele

Published 2019-06-10


  • minimal group paradigm,
  • trust,
  • social categorizing,
  • ethics,

How to Cite

Songhorian, S. (2019). Trust, Implicit Attitudes, and the Malleability of Group Identities. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 39(1), 137–155. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v39i1.61


Several empirical evidences suggest that our group identity modulates our trusting attitudes, even when groups are created arbitrarily in the lab. Hence, group are malleable entities. While it clearly bears huge risks of malevolent manipulation, this malleability can also be an opportunity: it seems at least theoretically possible to manipulate the sense of belonging – and the automatic trust that follows from it – so as to include people that were previously conceived of as belonging to other groups.

I will, thus, investigate two lines of research to be used to show that there are several implicit drives that actually modulate our trusting attitudes. From this, a revision of our ordinary conceptualization of trust seems necessary. Hence, I proposed a two-level characterization of trust that would better serve the purposes of accounting for the data discussed and for the role trust can and should play in ethics.