Difference Between Belief and Trust (With Table)

Understanding human emotion has always been a complicated task. Neuroscientists and anthropologists try to decipher the signaling of neurons and the associated feelings. Among them, belief and trust hold a high place in interpersonal relationships. They are quite similar but there is a thin line of literal difference as well, which helps in customization of usage in the exact sense.

Belief vs Trust

The main difference between belief and trust is that the former is related to the reliability of a fact while the latter is the act of placing confidence in a fact. In other words, belief is measured by the person’s acceptance of the fact as true or false. Trust is directly related to personal preferences which lead to enhancement of faith in some situations. These differences have been mentioned in the Bible.

Having belief in someone or something indicates a high degree of understanding. The fact may or may not be true but the belief inclines towards either of the possibilities. It is not essential that this guesswork is driven by proof or pieces of evidence. Belief is easy to meddle with and does not attach any emotional quotient in most cases. Believers are not necessarily spiritual people.

If someone has trust, it means that a large amount of confidence is instilled in the fact or person. Trustworthiness stems out of mutual understanding and there is no aimless inclination in terms of wrongness and correctness. Blind trust is akin to faith but it can still be demarcated on religious lines. Once trust is broken, it is difficult to build it again in the same form as that of the previous trust.

Comparison Table Between Belief And Trust

Parameters of ComparisonBeliefTrust
DefinitionBelief is defined as the general way of accepting certain stated facts to be authentic. Trust is defined as the extended belief in the reliability of a person or fact.
SignificanceBelief is significant in presenting statistical data and declaring a fact to be essential. Trust is significant for maintaining close relationships and sharing secrets.
Religious AspectIf a religious aspect is attached to a belief, it leads to the development of faith. In most cases, trust has no valid relation with any form of religious aspect or devotion.
ExamplesBelief in a person’s words, belief in a piece of news, etc.Trust on a person (as a whole), entrusting someone with precious belongings, etc.
Effect of ScarcityIf there is no belief, doubts arise out of the disbelief in the facts stated. If there is no trust, people begin to suspect words or actions or both, based on the intensity of emotions.

What is Belief?

The word belief has been derived from the Old English word “geleafa” which implies holding dear or in high esteem. This generally outlines the concept of belief among human beings. Religions are also believed to be protective as they have been in place since times immemorial.

Placing one’s belief on something applies general acceptance of that particular fact. It might not be true, completely real, or genuine. The source matters in terms of deciding the extent of belief. Scientific facts are mostly believed by the common populace since they are regarded by influential people. News channels are believed to be true while online forwards are believed to be rumors in most cases.

To believe is a verb while belief can be treated as an abstract noun. Beliefs play an important role in people’s daily lives as they help drive the motives in the right direction. Loss of belief might not necessarily lead to loss of faith. Above all, belief in oneself is considered to be one of the strongest sources of motivation.

What is Trust?

The word trust has been derived from the German word “trost”, meaning comfort and consolation. This meaning is considered valid because humans usually seek solace in trustworthy people only. The issues of trust and mistrust arise due to the happening of certain events. One’s interpretations of these happening lead to building or breaking the same trust across a long time span.

Trusting someone does not necessarily mean believing everything they say to be true. Trust is mainly concerned with the feeling of loyalty. At times, the strength of interpersonal relationships is determined on the basis of inherent trust, among other psychological factors.

Some situations might lead to breakage of trust, like actions contrary to those expected. Truthfulness is closely related to the principles of trustworthiness as the basis of this emotion lies in the same. The reality checks applied from time to time make humans trust a brand or source of information. Believing something to be true is seen as a subset of having trust in it. They are directly proportional.

Main Differences Between Belief And Trust

  1. Belief is defined as the amount of confidence a person has in the truthfulness of fact stated, while trust is just deepened belief.
  2. Belief finds a lot of significance in customs and laws. Trust is significant for building faith and inclination.
  3. Various religions are driven by blind belief but trust finds no mandatory mention.
  4. Examples of believing include belief in facts while trust is a basic human virtue related to loyalty.
  5. In case there is a lack of belief, people become doubtful of the correctness of facts mentioned. On the other hand, scarcity of trust proves detrimental to the interpersonal relationships.


Regarding something as believable or trustworthy is a common way of establishing reliability in daily life. English, as a language, is known for attaching emotional meanings to simple words to enhance the expression of innate desires. Belief and trust can occur simultaneously and can be treated as subsets of faith.

Belief and trust have only a slight difference as they stem out of the basic human emotion of expectations. If either of them is shaken, it is difficult to process the situation immediately. The main demarcation is based on the literal meaning of these words only. Unless specified otherwise, literary devices can make use of these words freely.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917303677
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315542294-9/trust-belief-arnon-keren
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