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"A Promise Kept, a Promise Broken": Developmental Bases of Trust

Ken J. Rotenberg
Child Development
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 614-617
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129307
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129307
Page Count: 4
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"A Promise Kept, a Promise Broken": Developmental Bases of Trust
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Abstract

16 children from each of kindergarten, second, and fourth grades were presented pictorially and verbally with a series of stories. The stories depicted actors who varied in the amount of helping they promised to do and in whether or not they helped. Children's judgments of trust of the actors, their explanations for their judgments, and (for 1 set of stories) their selection of a borrower of their favorite toy, were obtained. The pattern of findings for all 3 measures indicated a developmental change in the bases of trust, changing from 1 emphasizing behavior to 1 emphasizing the consistency between promises and behavior. The judgments of trust by kindergarten children also provided evidence that young children may, to some extent, base their trust of others on whether or not those others say "nice" things.

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