Climate, Affluence, and Trust: Revisiting Climatoeconomic Models of Generalized Trust With Cross-National Longitudinal Data, 1981-2009

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Abstract

Recent theory predicts that climatic demands in conjunction with wealth-based resources serve to enhance socio-psychological functioning and facilitate the development of cognitive processes such as generalized trust. Past research, however, has provided only cross-sectional evidence to support this theory. In this study, I analyzed a repeated cross-sectional data set that included representative data from 123 societies spread over a 29-year time period. Unbalanced random-effects models and ordinary least squares regression showed that thermal climate and wealth-based resources interacted in their influence on generalized trust. Although the observed associations were robust to potential sources of bias, conditional marginal effect sizes for thermal climate were significantly reduced with the inclusion of confounding control variables. The findings support climatic demands–resource theory of generalized trust, invite new research directions, and yield important implications for trust research and theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2015

Keywords

  • climatic demands–resource theory
  • cross-national
  • generalized trust
  • random-effects models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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