Are Blacks Really Less Trusting than Whites? Revisiting the Race and Trust Question

Many scholars have concluded that blacks are less trusting than whites. The research presented here calls that conclusion into question. Previous research has been based on the standard trust measure, which may not be well suited to understanding how trust varies with social categories such as race. Building on theories of self-categorization and social identity, we argue that blacks are not less trusting than whites as suggested in previous work. Instead trust is expected to be greater within race-category boundaries than across race-category boundaries. A new experiment designed to test this argument is employed. The results strongly support our predictions. This research also addresses how trustworthiness varies with race-category. Results for trustworthiness do not map on to those for trust. Instead, blacks in this research show a higher level of trustworthiness than whites, regardless of other's race-category.