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Gender Differences in Interpersonal Trust: Disclosure Behavior, Benevolence Sensitivity and Workplace Implications


Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Qiu J;Kesebir S;Gunaydin G;Selcuk E;Wasti A


Publication Year



Across four studies (N = 4,727), we investigate gender differences in interpersonal trust in work relationships. Drawing on gendered socialization experiences, we propose that feeling able to engage in self-disclosure (disclosure-based trust) is a more fundamental aspect of interpersonal trust for women than for men. Because self-disclosure entails social and emotional risks, we further expect and find that female trustors are more sensitive to others’ benevolence when forming interpersonal trust judgments. Lastly, we show that these gender differences in disclosure-based trust and benevolence sensitivity are associated with divergent responses to benevolent others. Specifically, we test a moderated mediation model and find that benevolent supervisors are associated with higher quality supervisor relationships and greater well-being for women than for men, mediated through higher levels of disclosure-based trust. We discuss the implications of these findings for work relationships and career outcomes.


Interpersonal trust; gender differences; self-disclosure; social perception; work relationships; organizational trust; relational norms

Available on ECCH


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