Social Energy and Trust

Jiayi Song


Trust is the crucial basis of all interpersonal relationships and is composed of expectation and vulnerability. Its significance within the field of psychology is far-reaching. In 2002, Canavan coined the term social energy to define the distinct psychological phenomenon that occurs when the self (P) and another individual (O) share enthusiasm toward a common object or event (X). In this paper, I investigate the influence of social energy on how individuals rate or rank the trustworthiness of another, as well as the reason for being trusted, in the presence of high and low social energy. The experiment is conducted within a 2X1 ANOVA design by manipulating the different levels of social energy, either high or low. In addition to measuring trust and the reasons for trusting, participants’ feelings and emotions were assessed in three hypothetical situations, measuring whether the trust was warranted. The main finding concludes that participants’ ratings of another individual’s trustworthiness is significantly higher in high social energy conditions, compared to those in low social energy conditions. In addition, the reason for P’s doing so is that “I know in high social energy O thinks in the same way as I do,” which is reinforced by CHI2 Test results. By assessing emotional variables, it is found that gratitude, positive feelings, expectation, and regrets differ significantly with regard to levels of social energy. In addition, the HSE participant liked and believed the other, and was more kindly disposed than the LSE participant, who tended to be more blaming and punitive.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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