Modelling the role of trust in social relationships

Alistair G. Sutcliffe, Di Wang, Robin I.M. Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A social trust model is presented for investigating social relationships and social networks in the real world and in social media. The results demonstrate that multilevel social structures, with a few strong relationships, more medium ties, and large numbers of weak ties, emerge in an evolutionary simulation when well-being and alliances are rewarded with high levels of social interaction. 'Favour-the-few' trust strategies were more competitive than others under a wide range of fitness conditions, suggesting that the development of complex, multilevel social structures depends on capacity for high investment in social time and preferential social interaction strategies.

Original languageBritish English
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Internet Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Social brain hypothesis
  • Social media
  • Social relationships
  • Trust


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