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The TRUSST Lab supports student development through educational activities that assist students in gaining a cross-disciplinary and theoretically sound understanding of the scholarship of trust.

In addition to MSU courses, the TRUSST Lab hosts an abbreviated annual workshop.

  • MSU Course Number: CJ 809

  • Offered in the fall of even years

Content Overview:
Trust is a modern buzzword. From Ferguson to Ebola to water shortages and beyond, trust is thought to play a critical role in addressing many of the major problems in today’s world. Students in this course will be exposed to trust and related constructs like confidence, procedural justice, and salient values similarity in a variety of institutional contexts. The overarching questions of this seminar are two:


  1. What is trust, really?

  2. Are there, or should there be, important differences in the understanding and/or measurement of trust and its related constructs across contexts?

Additionally, because of their direct relevance to the course materials, students in this course will gain a strong working knowledge of critical social science issues in theoretical development, measurement, and statistics and experience in academic grant writing.


The Cross-Boundary Social Science of Trust in the Institutional Context

  • MSU Course Number: CJ 491 & ISS 308

  • Offered intermittently

Content Overview:

Trust is an innate part of the human experience. Our lives are punctuated--and even, to some degree, defined--by who and what we do and don't trust but the last few years have strongly highlighted an important role for our level of trust in a variety of governance actor. Students in this class will discuss this trust through the lens of the Flint Water Crisis, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the COVID-19 Pandemic to answer two overarching questions:

  1. What is trust, really?

  2. How can a nuanced understanding of trust help us better navigate governance crises?

Students in this course will use original research and media reports as fodder for discussions about practical approaches to understanding, building, and protecting trust in government.


Trust in Government

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