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I've blogged about trust as an amorphous concept, driven by feeling and past experiences—nothing you can see, smell, or hold on to. Trust also can be firmly grounded in design decisions and the physical world, as a recent report from the Filene Research Institute [coauthored by Bill Maurer, anthropology, and Melissa Wrapp, '21 anthropology Ph.D.] points out. Aesthetics matter for trust, the report states. "The basis for a trusting relationship is built, or broken, from the moment a person begins interacting with a financial institution." That could mean the experience of walking across a parking lot, glancing through a window, or examining the attire of staff members.

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