Trust as a product of involvement in information flows


  • Olesya V. VOLCHENKO Laboratory for Comparative Social Research



generalized trust, European countries, Internet, information channels, multilevel modeling


The purpose of the study is to examine how the involvement in information channels influences the trust. The author chooses the information approach towards the analysis of the phenomenon of trust as a means to overcome the lack of knowledge or uncertainty. The article highlights that trust is tightly connected to the assessment of the possible outcome, uncertainly and the amount of available information about the world. The author admits that the more people are involved in information channels, the higher the generalized trust is. The information taken from different sources makes society more understandable and transparent, and people`s behavior – more predictable; that leads to the increased level of trust. Using the data of the fifth wave of the European Social Survey, the author constructs a model that considers information approach towards trust and a number of key variables which allow determining the pure influence of the involvement in information channels on trust. Involvement in information channels (use of Internet, reading newspapers, everyday communications) is also important along with such factors as age, years of education, subjective welfare on trust. Multilevel modeling helps to determine how the frequency of the Internet use influences the trust.