New York, July 20: If you want to identify who is the most trustworthy person in your team, then pick the one who is more prone to feeling guilty, says a study. The findings showed that a person’s tendency to anticipate feeling guilty, which the researchers call “guilt-proneness,” is the strongest predictor of how trustworthy that person is — more so than a variety of other personality traits (extraversion, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness).
Guilt-proneness differs from guilt, as it reflects the anticipation of guilt over wrongdoing and causes people to avoid transgressing in the first place. On the other hand, guilt elicits reparative behaviour following a transgression. People who rank high in guilt-proneness feel a greater sense of interpersonal responsibility when they are entrusted, and as such, are less likely to exploit the trust others place in them. “Trust and trustworthiness are critical for effective relationships and effective organisations,” said Emma Levine from University of Chicago. “Individuals and institutions incur high costs when trust is misplaced, but people can mitigate these costs by engaging in relationships with individuals who are trustworthy. (IANS)