The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Trust can be a habit, study says

What makes you more likely to trust someone after a betrayal?

By Glamour Magazine Sep 9, 2013 8:06PM

by Gena Kaufman

In the wake of betrayal, it can be hard to understand how one partner can forgive the other and let things go back to normal. But here's an explanation of what may make a person more likely to trust again.

In a study at Stanford University, researchers found that betrayal affects people differently depending on the length of the relationship. If you are betrayed early in a relationship, your brain makes more careful decisions about trusting that person in the future. But if you are betrayed later in a relationship, you are more likely to forgive as a habit.

Ragip Candan/Getty ImagesMore from Glamour: 10 Hot Date-Night Outfits (According to Guys)

In an experiment, participants were paired with a "partner" (actually a computer program) and given $8. They could keep the money or give it to the partner. If they gave it to the partner, the value tripled, and the partner could then decide whether to keep it all or give half back to the original participant. If the partner betrayed the participant early on by keeping all the money, the participant took more time to make a decision and was more likely keep the money in the future.

But for those whose partner betrayed them later in the game, brain scans revealed increased activity in the part of the brain associated with habitual decision making, so the participants were more likely to trust their partners again.

More from Glamour: 25 Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Want Bangs

If trust becomes a habit, does that mean you're more likely to be able to repair a relationship with someone who betrays you after a long period together? It's interesting to consider in the context of romantic relationships. On the one hand, if you've been together longer, you may have more invested in the relationship in addition to being in the habit of trusting that person, which could make it easier to forgive and forget. On the other hand, wouldn't you feel even more betrayed by someone you'd spent so much time with?

Have you ever been betrayed by a person you trusted? Could you ever trust that person again?

More from Glamour:
10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Own
15 Hair-Color Makeover Ideas to Try in 2013
10 Beauty Tricks That Make Guys Melt

Subscribe to The Heart Beat | Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Photo: Ragip Candan/Getty Images

Sep 12, 2013 2:56AM

there will always be doubts from then on. the relationship will never be the same. dump 'em

Sep 11, 2013 6:06PM
One hand trust. The other hand forgive, FOR GET is IMPOSIBLE.
Sep 11, 2013 4:12PM

"Fool me once, shame on you...

Fool me twice, shame on me" !!!

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

buzzing now on msn living
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
the heart beat