The foundation of trust and its connection to leadership, charisma attributions, self-efficacy, and motivation

Omri Castelnovo, Micha Popper, Danny Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teachers, managers, and commanders–figures whose very role includes leadership elements -often enjoy trust that does not necessarily stem from the ‘here and now’ dynamics, but is rather based on early evolutionary sources. This claim is empirically supported by studies conducted in the fields of leadership, epistemic trust, and natural pedagogy. The purpose of the present study is to shed light on the signaling process that characterizes leaders’ influence, and to empirically examine the most influential signals from the followers’ perspective. The study examines signals that trigger the trust which is inherent in humans, and expressed by: 1. charisma attributions; 2. self-efficacy beliefs; and 3. changing patterns of motivation–from personal instrumental motivation to more collective and normative forms of motivation. Using a computerized maze experiment that included 120 subjects, hypotheses concerning trust-inducing signals were tested. The main hypothesis was that the group presented with these signals will perform better than the group that performed the same tasks in the experiment without the presentation of these signals. The findings indicate that, as expected, the signals discussed were positively correlated with all three dependent variables. The evolutionary processes underlying the findings of the presented experiment are broadly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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