Asymmetry in Perceptions of Trustworthiness: It’s not You; It’s Me

  • Jacqueline Z. Bergman
  • Erika E. Small
  • Shawn M. Bergman
  • Joan R. Rentsch


This study examined asymmetry in perceptions of trustworthiness among members of temporary teams. Participants completed a team decision‐making exercise and rated the extent to which they perceived each teammate as trustworthy. Social relations modeling (Kenny, 1994) was used to analyze the ratings and results indicated significant asymmetry in perceptions. The majority of the variance in trustworthiness ratings was attributable to the trustor and to the unique relationship between trustor and trustee. Only a nonsignificant amount of variance was attributable to the trustee. These findings suggest asymmetry in perceptions, as trustors differed in the extent to which they perceived the same individuals as trustworthy. Analyses indicated that trustors high in propensity to trust, extraversion, and emotional stability perceived others as more trustworthy than did trustors low in these characteristics. Results further indicated that team‐level asymmetry in trustworthiness perceptions was detrimental in terms of increased conflict and decreased team performance.

Keywords: temporary teams, interpersonal perception, social relations model, trustworthiness, perceptual asymmetry

How to Cite:

Bergman, J. & Small, E. & Bergman, S. & Rentsch, J., (2010) “Asymmetry in Perceptions of Trustworthiness: It’s not You; It’s Me”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 3(4), 379-399. doi:

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Published on
11 Oct 2010
Peer Reviewed