Phenomenology of interpersonal trust

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology Major in Clinical Psychology


College of Liberal Arts




Interpersonal trust, being a human experience, is lived by every individual. General or universal meanings are derived from individual descriptions of the experience of trust. By going back to the things themselves in trusting, different interpretations and perceptions about it can be eliminated. This research attempted to describe the lived experience of interpersonal trust. The researcher interviewed 6 participants that were able to provide a rich description of their experiences of trusting another person through the use of the phenomenological approach. Data analysis through the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was done after. After further analysis and clustering of emergent themes, 8 superordinate themes were derived from the significant statements coming from the experiences of the participants of interpersonal trust. The superordinate themes are as follows: (1) finding proof that the other can be trusted, (2) act of unraveling oneself to another, (3) expecting that the other will understand oneself, (4) placing faith on another, (5) relying on the other, (6) thinking the one can keep a secret, (7) natural feeling, and (8) the act of reciprocating anothers trust. The experience of trust, being a sequential process, is seen to begin with the trustor finding proof that the other can be trusted. Once this has been established the true essences of the experience of trusting another person occurs a sense of feeling protected and safe and the experience to open oneself to another. Ending this process is the expectation of the trustor for the trustee to reciprocate ones trust. The present study is significant in terms of understanding its value in dyadic relationships such as in therapist-client relationships and even in everyday encounters with other people.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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