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Isaacs, K.S. Alexander, J.M. Haggard, E.A. (1963). Faith, Trust and Gullibility. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:461-469.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:461-469

Faith, Trust and Gullibility

Kenneth S. Isaacs, James M. Alexander and Ernest A. Haggard


The concept of trust is complex. We have had to use words such as faith, trust, and gullibility, although the precise meanings and differences among these words are often clouded by common usage. What is most important is the sets of relationships surrounding each of these concepts. The amount of receptivity to and cognizance of reality, the differentiated or undifferentiated response to reality, what goes into individual predictions, what for each individual constitutes verification, and how the individual relates his past experiences to his present and his future—these are ways in which the subjective worlds of individuals vary. Trust is one of the important determinants of the subjective world. Trust has roots in the earliest experiences of the child; has necessary preconditions for development; has an orderly developmental sequence. In any individual there may be appropriate development, limitation of development, maldevelopment, or defence against use of the capacity to trust, and pathologies in relation to trust. The functional uses of trust in psycho-analysis and psychotherapy are discussed. Trust and social structure is mentioned.

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