The government security clearance manuals have documented what can be reduced to procedures and rules and whatnot. I know a guy who worked for the CIA a few years ago and he tells me the most trusted positions are the guys who do the security clearance evaluations. He said over half of them were Mormons. (Friend of a friend information is inherently untrustworthy.) One of the greatest spies in American history, James Angleton, was apparently paranoid to the brink of mental illness. It is generally a very difficult problem.

Upvoted for bringing up the intelligence community's viewpoint on trust. I would say we could find some very interesting research on trust from that area. I think that because the intelligence community seems to be adversarial to a large degree. The problem of the double agent or mole, for example, would very likely lead intelligence agencies to invest heavily in metrics of trust.

The last job fair I went to I looked into a career with the CIA. I found they have extremely strict rules on who they hire, up to and including personality traits like patriotism.


by NancyLebovitz 1 min read28th Jan 201225 comments


One of the more important types of decisions is deciding who to trust and about what, but I don't think I've seen any discussion here about rational methods in that area.

Any suggestions?