Compare how people from different cultures perform the same task.
Trust enables human communities to flourish, but it also leaves us vulnerable to others’ incompetence or deception. Cultivating trust is difficult without agreement on some basic standards of behavior. Communities thus develop rules that their members internalize and rely upon. Many such rules are culturally local, restricted to specific communities at specific points in time. But are some rules cultural universals? A first step toward answering this question is to study how people from a wide range of cultures avoid or solve specific social problems.