Trust vs. Assurance

Toshio Yamagishi‘s book titled The Structure of Trust: An Evolutionary Game of Mind and Society is promising. The premise is simple (emphasis mine):

This book is written around the central message that collectivist society produces security but destroys trust.

We understand intuitively that in a collectivist society… people tend to feel secure with their own kind in the group, but not to trust unknown outsiders. That implies a difference between assurance of security among compatriots on the one hand, and trust in other people’s human nature in general, trust that goes beyond one’s own group, on the other.

That difference is the starting point of this book.

Will report back as we plow through this, but wanted to share it immediately since the first skim was promising.

Why do I blog this?

Echoing the thoughts of Richard Lewis in Finland: Lone Cultural Wolf, Finland is a country whose cultural traits are sometimes closer to east than west. My own experience in Finland has caused me to be interested in Yamagishi’s notion of a collectivist society, which feels stronger here than in, say, western Europe. Understanding what creates (and destroys) trust will be an important element when seeking ways to help communities make decisions together.

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