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Trust Repair In Advice Relationships
Trust is necessary for decision makers to benefit from the knowledge of advisors, as well as for advisors’ long-term reputation. However, trust is easily and frequently broken. Because maintaining the relationship benefits both decision makers and advisors, the repair of trust is important for their individual and joint interests. We investigate whether repair actions by the advisor can restore violated trust and maintain it over time. We varied the frequency and intentionality of trust violations and measured trust by participants’ use of advice and by their ratings of the advisor’s trustworthiness. We found that repeated violations and intentional violations significantly reduce trust, but consistent trustworthy behavior by the advisor can restore it to its original level. We also found that repair actions help maintain restored trust over time. In sum, advisor violations significantly harm trust, but the harm is reparable and advice relationships can survive episodes of trust violation.