WHAT IS TRUST?

Trust is part of our evolution. In neuroscience, trust is represented by the probability, based on similar or past events, that an interaction will be pleasurable or give pleasurable results, called rewards. Rewards can be intrinsic, like something you personally like to do, or extrinsic, like when you like money because then you will do something you like with it. When your rewards are mainly extrinsic, you start to lose your native personality. You may even build up two contrasting personalities.
Trust is similar. We may trust people or events, and in the specific our trust in people may be intrinsic, when we like them, and extrinsic, when we trust them according to the functionality they have for us and the advantages they provide. The difference is well known: sometimes we trust people we don't like just because they usually give us specific benefits.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUST AND RELIABILITY

In the common language, and according to the different cultures, the word indicates both emotive trust and reliability. If I trust your values, your emotions, your personality, I trust in you. If you are reliable, I can count on you. So I can "emotively trust" you even if you are unreliable, because you are a person I "resonate with". And I can count on you even if you’re not a friend of mine, or even someone I don't like: you are a reliable person. These two kinds of trust are probably connected with the real and relational benefits we discussed in the equivalence page.

BETRAYAL AND FEAR

What is the opposite of trust? When we are betrayed we tend to feel anger and a desire of damaging the person we thought was worth of trust. But why? Because the opposite of trust is fear, and fear brings to anger or terror.
In punitive social systems, like dictatorship and totalitarism, or those based on benefits and performance, like extreme capitalism and moneymaking-based social systems, the high risks damage intrinsic trust and generate high levels of extrinsic trust. We look for friends who can give us benefits, not happiness, because without benefits we may be excluded from the system. Systemic thinking approach is higly needed to evaluate trust in a group, a community or in a nation. Trust is very important, because when people are afraid or mistrust others, conflicts may arise quite often. We need to feel safe while doing things together!