It Takes Two to Tango: An Interdependence Analysis of the Spiraling of Perceived Trustworthiness and Cooperation in Interpersonal and Intergroup Relationships

Document Type



Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU)

Publication Date



Organization Development | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


We present three spiral reinforcement models that describe how mutual perceptions of trustworthiness and/or mutual cooperation may develop in dyadic interpersonal and intergroup relationships: a perceived trustworthiness spiral model, a cooperation spiral model, and a perceived trustworthiness-cooperation spiral model that posits a relatively more complex spiraling between trustworthiness perceptions and cooperation. Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (Kashy & Kenny, 2000) analyses of data from two joint venture business simulations provided support for the spiral models in interpersonal and intergroup relationships. While all three models received some support, the perceived trustworthiness-cooperation spiral received the most consistent support, suggesting that trust perceptions play a crucial mediating role in the development of cooperation in both interpersonal and intergroup interactions. Overall, it does “take two to tango”: the development of mutual trust and cooperation involves an intricate dance that spirals over time and is fundamentally affected by partners’ initial moves.

Rights Information

© 2008 Elsevier Inc