Trust is heritable, whereas distrust is not.

Published on Jul 3, 2017in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America9.58
· DOI :10.1073/pnas.1617132114
Martin Reimann17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UA: University of Arizona),
Oliver Schilke20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UA: University of Arizona),
Karen S. Cook38
Estimated H-index: 38
(Stanford University)
Abstract Why do people distrust others in social exchange? To what degree, if at all, is distrust subject to genetic influences, and thus possibly heritable, and to what degree is it nurtured by families and immediate peers who encourage young people to be vigilant and suspicious of others? Answering these questions could provide fundamental clues about the sources of individual differences in the disposition to distrust, including how they may differ from the sources of individual differences in the disposition to trust. In this article, we report the results of a study of monozygotic and dizygotic female twins who were asked to decide either how much of a counterpart player’s monetary endowment they wanted to take from their counterpart (i.e., distrust) or how much of their own monetary endowment they wanted to send to their counterpart (i.e., trust). Our results demonstrate that although the disposition to trust is explained to some extent by heritability but not by shared socialization, the disposition to distrust is explained by shared socialization but not by heritability. The sources of distrust are therefore distinct from the sources of trust in many ways.
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Our article (1) presents evidence for the heritability of trust and the shared socialization of distrust. Goldfarb et al. (2) downloaded our dataset, which we had made publicly available for all researchers. We thank them for their reanalysis, which precisely replicated all point estimates reported in our article (1). Our reply focuses on three issues in response to their comments. Our original research investigated the heritability of distrust, and our finding of a point estimate of 0.00 [which...
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In “Trust is heritable, whereas distrust is not,” Reimann et al. (1) analyze data from monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins and conclude that “the disposition to trust is explained to some extent by heritability but not by shared socialization, [whereas] the disposition to distrust is explained by shared socialization but not by heritability.” We believe that the evidence does not justify either inference. As illustrated by the title of the article (1), the study claims to demonstrate that ...
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