Remember how everyone keeps saying that trusting others easily is being very na´ve. Not anymore. A new study shows that trusting can make you a lot smarter.
The study asked participants to watch taped job interviews of 2nd year MBA students - who had either lied to better their chances, or told the truth.
Several days before the participants watched the tapes, they filled out a questionnaire that measured their trust in other people, with questions such as "Most people are basically honest," and "Most people are basically good-natured and kind."
People high in trust were more accurate at detecting the liars-the more people showed trust in others, the more able they were to distinguish a lie from the truth.
"Although people seem to believe that low trusters are better lie detectors and less gullible than high trusters, these results suggest that the reverse is true," write co-authors Nancy Carter and Mark Weber of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
"People who trust others are not pie-in-the-sky Pollyannas, their interpersonal accuracy may make them particularly good at hiring, recruitment, and identifying good friends and worthy business partners," the researchers concluded.
The study is published in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science.