Trust and social ties

understanding the role of core discussion networks and family ties in shaping trust towards strangers.

Weak ties are seen as an important determinant of social trust. The relationship between involvement in voluntary associations, informal connections and trust towards strangers has been extensively investigated in the literature. In this project, I focus on the role of strong ties in shaping individuals' propensity to rely on unknown others. Are strong family ties truly detrimental to develop social trust? What features of our core networks allow us to rely (or not) on others? In a collaboration with Prof. John Ermisch, Prof. Diego Gambetta, and Dr. Burak Sonmez, we explore how real-life social connections can shape trusting behaviors with strangers in the lab and test whether people with strong family ties will be less likely than people with weak family ties to adapt to positive environments. In a separate contribution, I assess the role of social networks’ composition in influencing social trust by focusing on core discussion networks. Using data from the LISS panel (2008-2019), I am reconstructing the core discussion networks of respondents by employing name-generator modules included in the panel to evaluate whether changes in network’s composition create a change in social trust over time.


Trust and strong family ties: new experimental evidence. Ermisch, J., Gambetta, D., Lo Iacono, S., Sonmez, B. (to be submitted to Sociological Science)

Core Discussion Networks and Social Trust: a Longitudinal Study (2008–2019). Lo Iacono, S., (to be submitted to Social Networks)