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Who’s a yea-sayer? Habitual trust and affirmative response behavior

Posten, A-C. & Steinmetz, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-3299-4858 (2022). Who’s a yea-sayer? Habitual trust and affirmative response behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2839


We test the hypothesis that people who habitually trust others respond more affirmatively to questions (i.e., acquiescence). Six studies explore whether people’s habitual tendency to trust others translates into a general acquiescent response bias. By re-analyzing large-scale cross-country data, Study 1 shows that participants’ level of habitual trust predicts agreement across multiple and diverse concepts. Studies 2a-b show that habitual trust predicts acquiescent responding in classic psychological questionnaires. Habitual trust likewise predicts behavioral acquiescence, such as agreement to assigning monetary awards to others (Study 3) and staying with the suggested default option in a real choice paradigm (Study 4). Furthermore, the relation between habitual trust and acquiescent responding holds across different communication contexts (Study 5). These results imply that habitual trust predicts how individuals respond to questionnaire items that are used across a variety of research domains.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Posten, A-C. & Steinmetz, J. (2022). Who’s a yea-sayer? Habitual trust and affirmative response behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, which has been accepted for publication. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Publisher Keywords: habitual trust, response bias, affirmation, acquiescent response bias
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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