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Unformatted text preview: r growing or declining expectations
over time. This process, although subtle in most cases, can be extremely powerful in explaining
the process by which expectations and perception get locked in certain conditions over time.
The expanded government-public model provides a richer conceptualization of the determinants
of perception of outcomes and the learning processes associated with finding adequate levels of
decision thresholds. However, it still does not explain the links to public trust in its effects. To
address these links, we propose the unilateral-trust-in-government model shown in Figure 7.
Because “trust is based, at least in part, on a simple performance evaluation” (Keele, 2007, p.
243), our unilateral-trust-in-government model links the public’s memory of perceived outcomes
(experience of performance) to its trust in government (see Figure 7). Positive performance
increases trust because it is evidence of the ability to perform, and poor performance decreases
trust because it is evidence of the inability to perform. In addition, in our unilateral-trust-ingovernment model, we conceptualize the public’s trust in government as a function of the level of 12 the public’s expectations of outcomes (expectations). We agree with Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt, and
Camerer (1998, p. 395) in that “trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept
vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another,” and we
use this link to capture the effect that expectations, when paired with the memory of perceived
outcomes, have on trust formation (Chanley, 2002; Goold, 2002; Ho et al., 2005; Lewicki,
McAllister, and Bies, 1998; Mishler and Rose, 1997). With this characterization of trust, we
recognize that outcomes alone are not sufficient to explain changes in trust over time, as found in
Keele’s (2005) work on party control and trust in government and in Gershtenson, Ladewig, and
Plane’s (2006) work on changes in political environment, among others. Keele (2005) found that
although outcomes observed are important predictors of trust, they are not sufficient to explain
trust variations ove...
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