Developing an assessment of epistemic trust: a research protocol

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Paul Schröder-Pfeifer *
Alessandro Talia
Jana Volkert
Svenja Taubner
(*) Corresponding Author:
Paul Schröder-Pfeifer |


Epistemic trust (ET) describes the willingness to accept new information from another person as trustworthy, generalizable, and relevant. It has been recently proposed that a pervasive failure to establish epistemic trust may underpin personality disorders. Although the introduction of the concept of ET has been inspiring to clinicians and is already impacting the field, the idea that there may be individual differences in ET has yet to be operationalized and tested empirically. This report illustrates the development of an Epistemic trust assessment and describes the protocol for its validation. The sample will include 60 university students. The Trier Social Stress Test for Groups will be administered to induce a state of uncertainty and stress, thereby increasing the relevance of information for the participants. The experiment will entail asking information from the participants about their performance and internal states during a simulated employment interview, and then tracking how participants are able to revise their own judgments about themselves in light of the feedback coming from an expert committee. To control for social desirability and personality disorder traits, the short scale for social desirability (Kurzskala Soziale Erwünschtheit-Gamma) and the Inventory of Personality Organization are utilized. After the procedure, the participants will complete an app-based Epistemic trust questionnaire (ETQ) app. Confirmatory Factor Analysis will be utilized to investigate the structure and dimensionality of the ETQ, and ANOVAs will be used to investigate mean differences within and between persons for ET scores by item category. This study operationalizes a newly developed ET paradigm and provides a framework for the investigation of the theoretical assumptions about the connection of ET and personality functioning.

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