Trust is a social capital with burgeoning research interests from diverse disciplines in the social sciences, behavioral sciences and health fields. Despite these abundant literatures, trust research in sub-Saharan Africa is limited. The overwhelming area of interest on trustworthiness have also been focused on the trustee, with little consideration of the extent to which individuals perceive themselves to be trustworthy and the factors that may predict trustworthiness. The present study examined the contributions of personality and religiosity to propensity to trust and trustworthiness in a Nigerian student sample. Data was obtained using self-report measures of the Big Five Personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience), religiosity (operationalised as attendance to religious activities), trust, and trustworthiness. Results showed that agreeableness predicted increased trust, whereas conscientiousness and neuroticism predicted lower trust. Neither trust nor trustworthiness was significantly predicted by extraversion and openness to experience. Greater trustworthiness was predicted by high agreeableness, while high conscientiousness predicted reduced trustworthiness. Neuroticism did not predict trustworthiness. Religious involvement did not predict trust, but greater frequency of attendance to religious activities predicted lower trustworthiness. Findings suggest that agreeableness and conscientiousness may be important traits of interest in relation to trust and trustworthiness among youth in the sub-Saharan African context. Externalities of religion such as regular attendance to religious worship may not result to trust and may not foster trustworthiness. Researchers should give more attention to this area of research in order to clearly show their implications for social policy in developing countries.
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Ezirim, G.E., Mbah, P.O., Nwagwu, E.J. et al. Trust and Trustworthiness in a Sub-Saharan African Sample: Contributions of Personality and Religiosity. Soc Indic Res 153, 1087–1107 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02536-z
- Social capital
- Trust; trustworthiness