Intergroup trust might be broadly defined as a positive expectation about the intentions and behavior, and thus trust, of an outgroup towards the ingroup (Lewicki, McAllister, and Bies, 1998). According to Rotenberg and colleagues' framework of interpersonal trust (e.g., Rotenberg, 1991; Rotenberg and Morgan, 1995; Rotenberg, Fox, Green, Ruderman, Slater, Stevens, and Carlo, 2005), trust consists of three important components: reliability, emotionality, and honesty. In an intergroup context, reliability refers to whether promises made by the outgroup are fulfilled; emotionality refers to whether the outgroup refrains from causing emotional harm to the ingroup; and honesty refers to whether the outgroup is perceived as telling the truth, and behaving in a benign rather than in a malicious or manipulative way towards the ingroup.
Trust is crucial if society is to function effectively, because the formation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships is dependent on our ability to trust one another (e.g., Rotenberg, 1991; Rotter, 1980). Our ability to trust others has diverse psychological consequences, particularly among children. According to attachment theory, the quality of a child's relationship with their caregivers can affect their beliefs about whether others are trustworthy and, subsequently, their ability to have successful relationships (Bridges, 2003). Similarly, it is important for children that they are able to trust their peers, and know that they will be honest, reliable, and benevolent (Bernath and Feshbach, 1995).