Friday, 05 July 2013

Trust is a matter of spying

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From 20th century Cold War espionage to last month’s PRISM story, spying has remained a well-established practice within our society for years now.

But does it have a damaging effect on our ability to trust one another?

We often ask each other whether spying reduces trust. In the UK, there is a reported 4.2 million CCTV cameras watching our every movement; that’s one camera for every 14 people.

For many of you, this sense of being watched could make us less trusting, feeding our paranoia, endangering our friendships and then our ability to forge future relationships.

But here’s a thought…maybe it’s the other way round. Could it be that, instead of damaging trust, what we see when we spy actually builds our confidence in one another?

Research from Miles Hewstone shows that if you watch people from different backgrounds interact with one another, your own levels of trust in people from different corners of society goes up.

In an increasingly diverse society, our relations with each other have never been so important. The Challenge Network brings together people from all backgrounds, giving them the chance to build trusting and lasting friendships.

That’s why we encourage people to come and spy on our work…

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