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Title: Trust in mediated interactions
Author: Riegelsberger, Jens
ISNI:       0000 0001 3518 5074
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2005
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Modern technologies are increasingly enabling interactions between people who have never met face-to-face. In some cases, such as e-commerce, user-system interactions even replace human interactions. With the introduction of such systems came a widely publicised lack of trust online. In response, many researchers have focused on how to increase users' trust perceptions. Taking a systemic perspective, this thesis posits that long-term acceptance may largely depend on users' ability to make correct trust decisions rather than on high trust in the short term. Further shortcomings of HCI trust research were identified in a critical literature review: current trust research (1) is mostly based on users' self-reports, (2) lacks a coherent conceptual basis, and (3) focuses on cognitive trust, even though it is well established that trust is also based on affective reactions to interpersonal cues. To overcome these limitations, this thesis makes theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions. It (i) introduces an integrated framework for trust in mediated interactions that unifies existing HCI trust research, (ii) explores novel behavioural trust measures, and (iii) reports a series of experiments on users' ability to make correct trust decisions and on the effect of mediated interpersonal cues on trust and usability. The experiments on trust in e-commerce found that users could differentiate trustworthy from less trustworthy vendors, but only after a detailed exploration of a site. Judgements based on an inspection of the home page alone were not better than chance. Facial photos of assistants (which are commonly used by online vendors, but rarely researched) were found to affect users' self-reported trust in a vendor only when just the home page was inspected. No lasting negative effect of photos was found on task performance. For user trust in a human advisor interpersonal cues were researched in the form of video, avatar, audio, and photo representations. It was found that video could interfere with users' preference for trustworthy advice. An increase in risk led to an increase in interference. The avatar did not result in an increase in trust relative to other representations; rather there was some evidence for a marginally negative effect of this representation on trust. All representations that contained visual or para-verbal interpersonal cues (including the avatar) were rated as being more friendly and enjoyable than text-only representations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available