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Computer-Mediated Communication. Trust and Trustworthiness. The multidisciplinary problem of trust. While definitions vary widely, relevance is rarely disputed:

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computer mediated communication

Computer-Mediated Communication

Trust and Trustworthiness

the multidisciplinary problem of trust
The multidisciplinary problem of trust

While definitions vary widely,

relevance is rarely disputed:

“Trust reduces the need for costly control structures, thus enabling exchanges that could otherwise not take place, and makes social systems more adaptable.”

(Uslaner 2002, quoted in Riegelsberger et al. 2007)

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

trust and trustworthiness
Trust and Trustworthiness

“one in which confidence is placed”

“dependence on something future or contingent”

“to have or place confidence in; depend on”

“to place in the care of another; entrust”

“reliance on something in the future; hope”

“to have or place confidence in; depend on”

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

trust in information systems interfaces
“Trust” in Information, Systems, Interfaces?

Trust vs. Credibility

Trust vs. Reliability, Security

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

defining trust
Defining Trust

Cognitive Psychology

  • Trust as “personality trait” (dispositional trust)
  • Trust as learned experience (learned trust)


  • Trust versus reliance, security

Sociology and Social Psychology

  • Trust as behavior

(situational trust)

    • Trust builds through risk-taking
    • Assessment of trustworthiness based on perceptions of others’ characteristics

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

conditions for trust
Conditions for Trust
  • The truster accepts some level of risk orvulnerability
  • There must exist a potential for betrayal
  • Trust is optimistic; the opposite is distrust.


Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore


Involves assessment of one’s future behavior

‘Trustworthiness’ is a characteristic that we infer about others

Theoretically linked to perceived competenceand motivations of a given partner

  • Competence to act in a way we deem appropriate
  • Motivation to act in our best interests

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

signaling trustworthiness riegelsberger et al 2007
Signaling Trustworthiness(Riegelsberger et al. 2007)


“signify the presence of

trust-warranting properties”


“given off as a by-product

of trust warranting properties”

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

trust building in the sociological relational sense
Trust-Building in the Sociological, Relational Sense

Interpersonal Trust

Trust as an attitude about others’ desire and ability to act in a positive way towards us in a given context

Involves repeated interactions between parties

Theoretically linked to risk-taking

Distinct from the concept of ‘cooperation’

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

uncertainty and risk
Uncertainty and Risk

Ambiguity about the result of an interaction versus what is at stake.

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore

trust uncertainty and commitment
Trust, Uncertainty and Commitment

Peter Kollock (1994) – “rice and rubber markets”

  • uncertainty about quality leads to commitment and trust

Computer-Mediated Communication — Cheshire & Fiore