Analyse & Kritik
Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf
Communication is an inherently strategic matter. This paper introduces simple game theoretic models of information transmission to identify different forms of uncertainty which may pose a problem of trust in testimony. Strategic analysis suggests discriminating between trust in integrity, trust in competence, trust in (the will to invest) effort and trust in honesty. Whereas uncertainty about the sender's honesty or integrity may directly influence a rational receiver's readiness to rely on sender's statements, neither uncertainty about the competence of a sender nor uncertainty about his willingness to invest effort has any direct impact on rational reliance on its own. In this regard, trust in honesty and trust in integrity appear to be more basic than trust in competence or effort.