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Risk Assessment in E-Commerce: How Sellers’ Photos, Reputation Scores, and the Stake of a Transaction Influence Buyers’ Purchase Behavior and Information Processing

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Abstract

Guided by Nickel's (2009) model of risk assessment and the literature on facial trustworthiness, this study investigates how the stake of a transaction interacts with information on buyers' profiles in influencing buyers' purchase decisions and information processing. Participants played buyers in a trust game and made purchase decisions based on a series of seller profiles while their eye movements on the stimuli were recorded. Results revealed that the three factors examined exerted influences on buyers' decision-making in a hierarchical fashion: Sellers' reputation exerted a primary influence on buyers' decision-making, followed by sellers' profile photos, which is further followed by the stake of a transaction. The results confirm Nickel's (2009) model of risk assessment and inform e-marketing strategies in terms of building consumers' trust.

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The e-commerce is becoming increasingly essential and principally relevant in the modern world, especially in the current pandemic. Due to the increased use of the Internet, the growth of e-commerce has escalated. This research focuses on the e-commerce environments of Singaporean and Austrian markets. It contains an outline touching on the theoretical parts and the conduct of an empirical study where the survey results from 206 participants were studied, analysed, and compared. The statistical methods chosen for this research were the t-test analysis and the correlation analysis. The empirical study served as a quantitative discussion on both countries' e-commerce markets. The analysis of the completed questionnaires provided a better and clear understanding of the buying behaviours and their potential impact on the e-commerce markets in Singapore and Austria. Considering the results from the comparisons, the research has also highlighted some interesting findings and differences in the buying behaviours of Singaporean and Austrian shoppers.
Chapter
The method of synthesis of the information model of the system of support of judicial decisions aimed at increasing the efficiency and confidence in the work of judges is proposed. The method is based on the methods of decision-making theories in fuzzy conditions, fuzzy sets, and sequential improvement of decision options.
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Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) backed Alexa, Siri and Google Assistants are examples of Voice-based digital assistants (VBDA) that are ubiquitously occupying our living spaces. While they gather an enormous amount of personal information to provide bespoke user experience, they also evoke serious privacy concerns regarding the collection, use and storage of personal data of the consumers. The objective of this research is to examine the perception of the consumers towards the privacy concerns and in turn its influence on the adoption of VBDA. We extend the celebrated UTAUT2 model with perceived privacy concerns, perceived privacy risk and perceived trust. With the assistance of survey data collected from tech-savvy respondents, we show that trust in technology and the service provider plays an important role in the adoption of VBDA. In addition, we notice that consumers showcase a trade-off between privacy risks and benefits associated with VBDA while adopting the VBDA such technologies, reiterating their calculus behaviour. Contrary to the extant literature, our results indicate that consumers' perceived privacy risk does not influence adoption intention directly. It is mediated through perceived privacy concerns and consumers’ trust. Then, we propose theoretical and managerial implications to conclude the paper.
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Building trust and enhancing consumers' participation are critical for the growth of peer‐to‐peer sharing economy. This research explores the effect of driver username on passengers' intention to use ride‐sharing service and its underlying psychological mechanisms. The results indicate that driver username has a significant impact on passengers' intention to use ride‐sharing service, as a driver with a real name elicits greater intention to use ride‐sharing service than a driver with a screen name (studies 1, 2, 3a, 3b, and 3c). In addition, the effect of driver username on passengers' intention to use ride‐sharing service is serially mediated by social presence and trust (study 2). Importantly, the effect of driver username on passengers' intention to use ride‐sharing service is moderated by driver reputation (studies 3a, 3b, and 3c). A high (vs. low) reputation facilitates the impact of driver username on passengers' usage intention. Based upon these findings, theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Short-form video has attracted users’ attention and been widely adopted for entertainment. Recently, short-form video has also been used for advertising. However, how short-form video for advertisement influences consumer engagement behavior remains unclear. This study aims to explore key features of short-form video advertisements that influence consumer engagement behavior. Through analyzing data obtained from social media platform TikTok, we discovered that four key features of short-form video—performance expectancy, entertainment, tie strength, and sales approach—are significantly related to consumer engagement behavior. In addition, the results showed that product type moderated the relationship of these effects on consumer engagement behavior. This study is one of the first to investigate the influence of short-form video advertisement features on consumer engagement behavior; thus, it contributes to the social media advertisement literature. It extends consumer engagement behavior research by applying a combination of uses and gratifications theory and signal theory. It also highlights the significance of product type in advertising literature. The use of big data and text analysis contributes from a methodological perspective to social media research. This study also provides practical and managerial implications for sellers and marketers on how to attract consumers to engage in videos and how to make data-driven decisions.
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In dynamic, open, and service-oriented computing environments, e.g., e-commerce and crowdsourcing, service consumers must choose one of the services or items to complete their tasks. Due to the scale and dynamic characteristics of these environments, service consumers may have little or no experience with the available services. To this end, reputation systems are proposed and have played a crucial role in the success of online service-oriented transactions. In this paper, we study the current reputation systems used in commercial environments. In these rating-based reputation systems, we found they are not only resilient to the changes (time lag) but also vulnerable to unfair ratings. To address the problems in parallel, we propose an adaptive reputation model (ARM). ARM can dynamically adjust its model parameters to adapt the latest changes in a service. To tackle time lag, the proposed model generalizes the fixed sliding window, used in current commercial platforms, into a dynamic sliding window mechanism. Thus, the model can completely mitigate the influence of obsolete ratings. To detect unfair ratings, our model implements a statistical strategy based on hypothesis testing after transforming the ratings in the linear window into residuals. Experiments not only validate the effectiveness of the proposed model but also show that it outperforms the existing reputation system by 45% on average based on five test cases. The results also show that the proposed model can asymptotically converge to the underlying reputation value as ratings begin to accumulate.
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Users of social networking sites such as Facebook frequently post self-portraits on their profiles. While research has begun to analyze the motivations for posting such pictures, less is known about how selfies are evaluated by recipients. Although producers of selfies typically aim to create a positive impression, selfies may also be regarded as narcissistic and therefore fail to achieve the intended goal. The aim of this study is to examine the potentially ambivalent reception of selfies compared to photos taken by others based on the Brunswik lens model Brunswik (1956). In a between-subjects online experiment (N = 297), Facebook profile mockups were shown which differed with regard to picture type (selfie vs. photo taken by others), gender of the profile owner (female vs. male), and number of individuals within a picture (single person vs. group). Results revealed that selfies were indeed evaluated more negatively than photos taken by others. Persons in selfies were rated as less trustworthy, less socially attractive, less open to new experiences, more narcissistic and more extroverted than the same persons in photos taken by others. In addition, gender differences were observed in the perception of pictures. Male profile owners were rated as more narcissistic and less trustworthy than female profile owners, but there was no significant interaction effect of type of picture and gender. Moreover, a mediation analysis of presumed motives for posting selfies revealed that negative evaluations of selfie posting individuals were mainly driven by the perceived motivation of impression management. Findings suggest that selfies are likely to be evaluated less positively than producers of selfies might suppose.
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Several studies have shown that consumers perceive higher risks buying online than in conventional way. Perceived risks affect all purchase decisions and consumers’ behavior, by deterring them to buy. These risks come from the lack of trust of shoppers toward online vendors’ credibility. The main field of research in this paper is to investigate how trust is affecting the consumers engagement to e-commerce, in order to conclude in which security measures should be taken in order to mitigate perceived risks. A framework for a field research is also given in order to identify the causal relationships between electronic service quality and e-loyalty, e-satisfaction and e-trust.
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Eye movement records have been used profitably to study on-line comprehension processes in reading. We present some basic facts about eye movements during reading, emphasising issues concerning the use of eye movement data to infer cognitive processes that are involved in (1) word processing, (2) syntactic parsing, and (3) higher-order processes. We review research on each of these topics and present new data dealing with word processing and high-order processes. We conclude that the analysis of eye movement records provides a great deal of useful information about on-line processing and that eye movement recording is a good way to study many critical issues concerning language comprehension processes.
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This research investigated whether variations in speech rate and response latency provide cues for deception. Participants listened to a conversation between a male/ female couple containing responses to questions that not only varied in timing characteristics but also potential type of lie. Results revealed gender differences in the type of lie told that depended on speech timing characteristics.
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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to seek to investigate the impact that perceived risk and trust have on online purchasing behavior, in particular the nature of purchasing associations within the expensive, complex, high risk and credence products such as gemstones. Design/methodology/approach – An online survey of purchases of Thai gemstones was used to collect the data. Partial Least Squares was used to test the conceptual model of the study. Findings – The results of this study suggest that the type of internet marketing strategy used by the seller (the place strategy) and the buyer's privacy and security practices influence a buyer's perceived risk to purchase gemstones online. Furthermore, the study showed that perceived risk reduces trust and perceived risk reduces online purchases. Research limitations/implications – The implications of these results are that privacy and security concerns of online buyers must be addressed in order to reduce perceived risk and thereby increase trust which is fundamental to the amount purchased online. Practical implications – Online marketers of highly risky products need to consider that policies that promote trust and reduce risk are important means of increasing purchases. In particular, the use of multichannels will reduce perceived risk. Originality/value – This is a rare study which examines purchases of expensive, complex, high risk and credence products such as gemstones. It is also a study which examines the behaviour of organisational buyers. Also actual reported online purchases are investigated rather than just intent.
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This paper examines electronic mail in organizational communication. Based on ideas about how social context cues within a communication setting affect information exchange, it argues that electronic mail does not simply speed up the exchange of information but leads to the exchange of new information as well. In a field study in a Fortune 500 company, we used questionnaire data and actual messages to examine electronic mail communication at all levels of the organization. Based on hypotheses from research on social communication, we explored effects of electronic communication related to self-absorption, status equalization, and uninhibited behavior. Consistent with experimental studies, we found that decreasing social context cues has substantial deregulating effects on communication. And we found that much of the information conveyed through electronic mail was information that would not have been conveyed through another medium.
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How does gender influence trust, the likelihood of being trusted and the level of trustworthiness? We compare choices by men and women in the Investment Game and use questionnaire data to try to understand the motivations for the behavioral differences. We find that men trust more than women, and women are more trustworthy than men. The relationship between expected return and trusting behavior is stronger among men than women, suggesting that men view the interaction more strategically than women. Women felt more obligated both to trust and reciprocate, but the impact of obligation on behavior varies.
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The facial width-to-height ratio (face ratio), is a sexually dimorphic metric associated with actual aggression in men and with observers' judgements of aggression in male faces. Here, we sought to determine if observers' judgements of aggression were associated with the face ratio in female faces. In three studies, participants rated photographs of female and male faces on aggression, femininity, masculinity, attractiveness, and nurturing. In Studies 1 and 2, for female and male faces, judgements of aggression were associated with the face ratio even when other cues in the face related to masculinity were controlled statistically. Nevertheless, correlations between the face ratio and judgements of aggression were smaller for female than for male faces (F(1,36) = 7.43, p = 0.01). In Study 1, there was no significant relationship between judgements of femininity and of aggression in female faces. In Study 2, the association between judgements of masculinity and aggression was weaker in female faces than for male faces in Study 1. The weaker association in female faces may be because aggression and masculinity are stereotypically male traits. Thus, in Study 3, observers rated faces on nurturing (a stereotypically female trait) and on femininity. Judgements of nurturing were associated with femininity (positively) and masculinity (negatively) ratings in both female and male faces. In summary, the perception of aggression differs in female versus male faces. The sex difference was not simply because aggression is a gendered construct; the relationships between masculinity/femininity and nurturing were similar for male and female faces even though nurturing is also a gendered construct. Masculinity and femininity ratings are not associated with aggression ratings nor with the face ratio for female faces. In contrast, all four variables are highly inter-correlated in male faces, likely because these cues in male faces serve as "honest signals".
Conference Paper
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Virtual re-embedding, i.e., adding social cues to a website, has been suggested as a possible strategy to increase consumer trust in online-vendors. Numerous online retailers meanwhile incorporate this strategy, for example by adding photographs and names of customer service agents or by creating chat and callback opportunities. Yet, little is is known about the effectiveness of virtual re-embedding. The present study examined the effectiveness of a comparably simple strategy, the inclusion of photograph in an e-bank's website and found a significant positive effect on perceived trustworthiness of the examined website. It is suggested that virtual re-embedding is an effective way to increase customer trust and that it does not even have to be costly to implement.
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The development of electronic commerce is characterized with anonymity, uncertainty, lack of control and potential opportunism. Therefore, the success of electronic commerce significantly depends on providing security and privacy for its consumers’ sensitive personal data. Consumers’ lack of acceptance in electronic commerce adoption today is not merely due to the concern on security and privacy of their personal data, but also lack of trust and reliability of Web vendors. Consumers’ trust in online transactions is crucial for the continuous growth and development of electronic commerce. Since Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce requires the consumers to engage the technologies, the consumers face a variety of security risks. This study addressed the role of security, privacy and risk perceptions of consumers to shop online in order to establish a consensus among them. The analyses provided descriptive frequencies for the research variables and for each of the study’s research constructs. In addition, the analyses were completed with factor analysis and Pearson correlation coefficients. The findings suggested that perceived privacy of online transaction on trust is mediated by perceived security, and consumers’ trust in online transaction is significantly related with the trustworthiness of Web vendors. Also, consumers’ trust is negatively associated with perceived risks in online transactions. However, there is no significant impact from perceived security and perceived privacy to trust in online transactions.
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The advancement of the World Wide Web has resulted in the creation of a new form of retail transactions- electronic retailing (e-tailing) or web-shopping. Thus, customers’ involvements in online purchasing have become an important trend. As such, it is vital to identify the determinants of the customer online purchase intention. The aim of this research is to evaluate the impacts of shopping orientations, online trust and prior online purchase experience to the customer online purchase intention. A total of 242 undergraduate information technology students from a private university in Malaysia participated in this research. The findings revealed that impulse purchase intention, quality orientation, brand orientation, online trust and prior online purchase experience were positively related to the customer online purchase intention.
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Decisions about whom to trust are biased by stable facial traits such as attractiveness, similarity to kin, and perceived trustworthiness. Research addressing the validity of facial trustworthiness or its basis in facial features is scarce, and the results have been inconsistent. We measured male trustworthiness operationally in trust games in which participants had options to collaborate for mutual financial gain or to exploit for greater personal gain. We also measured facial (bizygomatic) width (scaled for face height) because this is a sexually dimorphic, testosterone-linked trait predictive of male aggression. We found that men with greater facial width were more likely to exploit the trust of others and that other players were less likely to trust male counterparts with wide rather than narrow faces (independent of their attractiveness). Moreover, manipulating this facial-width ratio with computer graphics controlled attributions of trustworthiness, particularly for subordinate female evaluators.
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Judgments of trustworthiness from faces determine basic approach/avoidance responses and approximate the valence evaluation of faces that runs across multiple person judgments. Here, based on trustworthiness judgments and using a computer model for face representation, we built a model for representing face trustworthiness (study 1). Using this model, we generated novel faces with an increased range of trustworthiness and used these faces as stimuli in a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study (study 2). Although participants did not engage in explicit evaluation of the faces, the amygdala response changed as a function of face trustworthiness. An area in the right amygdala showed a negative linear response-as the untrustworthiness of faces increased so did the amygdala response. Areas in the left and right putamen, the latter area extended into the anterior insula, showed a similar negative linear response. The response in the left amygdala was quadratic--strongest for faces on both extremes of the trustworthiness dimension. The medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus also showed a quadratic response, but their response was strongest to faces in the middle range of the trustworthiness dimension.
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People automatically evaluate faces on multiple trait dimensions, and these evaluations predict important social outcomes, ranging from electoral success to sentencing decisions. Based on behavioral studies and computer modeling, we develop a 2D model of face evaluation. First, using a principal components analysis of trait judgments of emotionally neutral faces, we identify two orthogonal dimensions, valence and dominance, that are sufficient to describe face evaluation and show that these dimensions can be approximated by judgments of trustworthiness and dominance. Second, using a data-driven statistical model for face representation, we build and validate models for representing face trustworthiness and face dominance. Third, using these models, we show that, whereas valence evaluation is more sensitive to features resembling expressions signaling whether the person should be avoided or approached, dominance evaluation is more sensitive to features signaling physical strength/weakness. Fourth, we show that important social judgments, such as threat, can be reproduced as a function of the two orthogonal dimensions of valence and dominance. The findings suggest that face evaluation involves an overgeneralization of adaptive mechanisms for inferring harmful intentions and the ability to cause harm and can account for rapid, yet not necessarily accurate, judgments from faces.
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The facilitation of eye movements was studied in two experiments involving a repeated reading paradigm. A text was read three times. Initial reading was immediately followed by the first repetition; the second repetition took place one week later. Recall task instructions were used to encourage a detailed reading of the text. The data were analysed sentence by sentence from the 'first pass' readings not including returns to earlier test locations. A general facilitation for all eye movement parameters was found. Repetition decreased the summed fixation time, the average fixation duration, the number of progressive fixations, and the number of regressions. Additionally, repetition increased saccade lengths. Experiment 2 further qualified the general facilitory effect. The middle section of the text, being the most dense of information, was devoted the most visual attention by the readers. Moreover, it was also found to produce the largest degree of facilitation due to repetition. This was true with all other eye movement parameters except saccade length and average fixation duration. Average fixation durations were longer in the beginning of a text than in the end. This was true in all the three readings. Similarly, for each reading, highly important sentences received more visual attention than unimportant sentences.
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Faces constitute a unique and widely used category of stimuli. In spite of their importance, there are few collections of faces for use in research, none of which adequately represent the different ages of faces across the lifespan. This lack of a range of ages has limited the majority of researchers to using predominantly young faces as stimuli even when their hypotheses concern both young and old participants. We describe a database of 575 individual faces ranging from ages 18 to 93. Our database was developed to be more representative of age groups across the lifespan, with a special emphasis on recruiting older adults. The resulting database has faces of 218 adults age 18-29, 76 adults age 30-49, 123 adults age 50-69, and 158 adults age 70 and older. These faces may be acquired for research purposes from http://agingmind.cns.uiuc.edu/facedb/. This will allow researchers interested in using facial stimuli access to a wider age range of adult faces than has previously been available.
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Deciding whether an unfamiliar person is trustworthy is one of the most important decisions in social environments. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that the amygdala is involved in implicit evaluations of trustworthiness of faces, consistent with prior findings. The amygdala response increased as perceived trustworthiness decreased in a task that did not demand person evaluation. More importantly, we tested whether this response is due to an individual's idiosyncratic perception or to face properties that are perceived as untrustworthy across individuals. The amygdala response was better predicted by consensus ratings of trustworthiness than by an individual's own judgments. Individual judgments accounted for little residual variance in the amygdala after controlling for the shared variance with consensus ratings. These findings suggest that the amygdala automatically categorizes faces according to face properties commonly perceived to signal untrustworthiness.
Book
Reading is a highly complex skill that is prerequisite to success in many societies in which a great deal of information is communicated in written form. Since the 1970s, much has been learned about the reading process from research by cognitive psychologists. This book summarizes that important work and puts it into a coherent framework. Note that the full-text of this book is not available.
Conference Paper
We investigated the influence of photo-realistic avatars and reputation scores on trust building in online transactions. In Experiment 1, 126 participants played a computer-mediated trust game with three avatar conditions (trustworthy, untrustworthy, and no seller avatar) and three reputation conditions (positive, negative, and no seller reputation). Both trustworthy avatars and positive reputation scores led to higher purchase rates. We also found a significant interaction between avatars and reputation scores, suggesting that the effect of avatars was stronger when the reputation score induced uncertainty. To further support this effect, we systematically varied uncertainty levels in Experiment 2, in which 147 participants played another trust game. Results again confirmed that participants relied more on avatars in their decisions under high uncertainty. Taken together, the results show that avatars can help to reduce uncertainty and to improve trust building in e-commerce settings.
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Since the beginning of e-commerce, trustworthiness of commercial web sites has been a constant issue, and, very likely, it will continue to be. When an online shopper cannot trust a web site where he or she intends to make a purchase, the online shopper would perceive a risk of transactional security and a risk of privacy of personal information. In regard to this perceived risk in online transactions, this study is set out to find the change in the level of perceived risk in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce and to test whether or not consumers trust a webcentric company at their first visit to the company's web site. Two major findings of this study are that about one third of those surveyed for the study feel an increased risk in B2C online transactions over the previous year, and that absolute majority of them have never or rarely shopped on a web site they are not familiar with. It is further found that even an attractive deal cannot affect the risk-averse behavior of online shopping. From the findings of the study, it is concluded that risk-averse online shopping behavior is a manifestation of increased perceived risk in B2C online transactions.
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Eye tracking is a technique whereby an individual’s eye movements are measured so that the researcher knows both where a person is looking at any given time and the sequence in which the person’s eyes are shifting from one location to another. Tracking people’s eye movements can help HCI researchers to understand visual and display-based information processing and the factors that may impact the usability of system interfaces. In this way, eye-movement recordings can provide an objective source of interface-evaluation data that can inform the design of improved interfaces. Eye movements also can be captured and used as control signals to enable people to interact with interfaces directly without the need for mouse or keyboard input, which can be a major advantage for certain populations of users, such as disabled individuals. We begin this article with an overview of eye-tracking technology and progress toward a detailed discussion of the use of eye tracking in HCI and usability research. A key element of this discussion is to provide a practical guide to inform researchers of the various eye-movement measures that can be taken and the way in which these metrics can address questions about system usability. We conclude by considering the future prospects for eye-tracking research in HCI and usability testing. Purchase this chapter to continue reading all 9 pages >
Despite the rapid increase in online shopping, the literature is silent in terms of the interrelationship between perceived risk factors, the marketing impacts, and their influence on product and web-vendor consumer trust. This research focuses on holidaymakers’ perspectives using Internet bookings for their holidays. The findings reveal the associations between Internet perceived risks and the relatively equal influence of product and e-channel risks in consumers’ trust, and that online purchasing intentions are equally influenced by product and e-channel consumer trust. They also illustrate the relationship between marketing strategies and perceived risks, and provide managerial suggestions for further e-purchasing tourism improvement.
Chapter
Philosophical conceptions of the relationship between risk and trust may be divided into three main families. The first conception, taking its cue from Hobbes, sees trust as a kind of risk assessment involving the expected behavior of another person, for the sake of achieving the likely benefits of cooperation. The second conception of trust sees it as an alternative to calculative risk assessment, in which instead of calculating the risks of relying on another person, one willingly relies on them for other reasons, e.g., habitual, social, or moral reasons. The third conception sees trust as a morally loaded attitude, in which one has a moral expectation that one takes it to be the responsibility of the trusted person to fulfill. In the context of interpersonal relationships this attributed moral responsibility creates spheres perceived to be free of interpersonal risk, in which one can pursue cooperative aims. In this chapter, we examine how these three views account for two prima facie relationships between risk and trust, and we look at some empirical research on risk and trust that employs these different conceptions of what trust is. We then suggest some future areas of philosophical research on the relationship between trust and risk.
Article
The present study examined the effect of reading goals on the processing and memory of central and peripheral textual information. Using eye-tracking methodology, we compared the effect of four common reading goals—entertainment, presentation, studying for a close-ended (multiple-choice) questions test, and studying for an open-ended questions test—on the specific reading time of central and peripheral information and the overall reading time of expository texts. Text memory was tested using multiple-choice questions. Results showed that readers devoted more time to central information than peripheral information during initial reading, regardless of reading goal, but that they adjusted their rereading to the reading goal, with total reading time being longer for central information under some (entertainment and presentation) but not all (open-ended and close-ended questions tests) reading goals. Moreover, readers devoted more time to reading the texts for a study purpose (test or presentation) than for an entertainment purpose, and devoted more time in reading the texts to answer open-ended questions than close-ended questions. Finally, we found that readers remembered more central information than peripheral information under all reading goals. These findings suggest that centrality affects readers’ early processing of text whereas reading goals only affect subsequent processing. Interestingly, processing time during reading predicted memory for peripheral information but not for central information.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and empirically test a conceptual model to establish how consumer innovativeness can be used as a variable to positively influence online retailing adoption intention both directly and reducing consumer perceived risk (PR). Design/methodology/approach – The literature concerning personal innovativeness toward information technology and major components of PR have been systematically reviewed to develop a conceptual model. The impact of innovativeness and PR on online shopping adoption intention has been empirically validated by structural equation modeling using a sample of 433 internet users in India. Findings – Results reveals consumer innovativeness as a key construct to improve online retail adoption intention both directly and by its effective role in reducing consumer risk perception of using internet channel for making purchase of physical goods. Originality/value – There is a lack of studies which connect consumer innovativeness and PR in the online retailing context especially in Indian scenario. The results expand one’s knowledge on this relationship, propounding interesting empirical evidence of the model among current and potential online shoppers.
Article
Although extremely popular, electronic commerce environments often lack information that has traditionally served to ensure trust among exchange partners. Digital technologies, however, have created new forms of “electronic word-of-mouth,” which offer new potential for gathering credible information that guides consumer behaviors. We conducted a nationally representative survey and a focused experiment to assess how individuals perceive the credibility of online commercial information, particularly as compared to information available through more traditional channels, and to evaluate the specific aspects of ratings information that affect people’s attitudes toward ecommerce. Survey results show that consumers rely heavily on web-based information as compared to other channels, and that ratings information is critical in the evaluation of the credibility of online commercial information. Experimental results indicate that ratings are positively associated with perceptions of product quality and purchase intention, but that people attend to average product ratings, but not to the number of ratings or to the combination of the average and the number of ratings together. Thus suggests that in spite of valuing the web and ratings as sources of commercial information, people use ratings information suboptimally by potentially privileging small numbers of ratings that could be idiosyncratic. In addition, product quality is shown to mediate the relationship between user ratings and purchase intention. The practical and theoretical implications of these findings are considered for ecommerce scholars, consumers, and vendors.
Article
Research on participatory websites has been minimally theoretical and lacks a comprehensive framework that identifies common elements and their functions across a variety of Web 2.0 platforms. This article suggests the definitions of 4 common message types in participatory websites—proprietor content, user‐generated content, deliberate aggregate user representations, and incidental aggregate user representations—and offers research exemplars that illustrate how they may function in transforming online social interaction and influence. It introduces the 6 empirical studies in this Special Issue of the Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication in terms of the theories, functions, cues, and message types on which these articles focus.
Article
In online shopping, users may contribute reviews that are subject to overt evaluations from other users' helpfulness ratings. Still other users may provide comments indicating agreement or disagreement with the original reviewer. This research modified congruity theory (Osgood & Tannenbaum, 1955) to predict effects on attitudes of readers who observe contributions from three potential sources of influence: review valence, other users' aggregated helpfulness rating of the review, and another user's verbal agreement or disagreement with the review. Results supported the hypothesized interaction effect among the 3 factors affecting attitudes toward a product, toward reviewers, and commenters. The findings suggest that congruity theory provides a framework for understanding effects from a juxtaposition of sources and messages within a participatory Web system.
Article
This is an overview of philosophical issues in risk research, including the definition of risk, the relationship between risk and uncertainty, the effects of cognitive limitations on rationality constraints, the implications of unknown possibilities, and the difficulties encountered when current decision theory and moral theory are applied to problems of risk. It is concluded that some of the models and assumptions commonly used in risk studies are deeply problematic.
Article
This research conceptualizes behaviors in online commercial transactions as communication acts intended to reduce uncertainty between interactants. Uncertainty reduction theory and predicted outcome value theory are used to contextualize individuals' motivations and behaviors in the risky and uncertain environment of online consumer-to-consumer (C2C) auctions. Data from 6477 randomly-selected auctions conducted over eBay.com indicate that more commodity information leads to more, and higher, final bids; higher seller reputation results in fewer bids for less money; and greater system security features result in fewer bids. Additionally, holding item type constant, much more variance in final bid price and bid activity can be explained by these factors as item value increases, although important differences in the direction of relations emerge as well. Based on these findings, current theoretical perspectives on uncertainty reduction are extended to the environment of computer-mediated communication and interpretations are offered to explain individuals' behaviors in initial encounters in online auctions.
Article
Purpose – To explore the role of trust and risk in consumers' apparent reluctance to convert from internet browsers to potential online purchasers. To consider how marketing planners in that environment can devise strategies that balance perceptions of risk against perceptions of trustworthiness. Design/methodology/approach – The literatures of trust and risk were reviewed, with a focus on internet usage and online buying. Six components of organisational trust are used as the framework for a discussion of perceived risk, and of the tactics available to counterbalance perceptions of the riskiness of online buying with evidence of the trustworthiness of the online merchant. Findings – The conclusion is that marketing planners can overcome the barrier of perceived risk if they find the means to generate sufficient trust among their potential customers. Research limitations/implications – This presents no empirical evidence but does draw together the work of others and build from it a framework for understanding how the twin concepts of risk and trust work together. Fellow researchers are invited to test its propositions experimentally. Practical implications – Planners of marketing campaigns for online suppliers of products and services can use the framework presented in this paper as a basis for the formulation of effective strategies to convert current web-browsers into future internet shoppers, and thereby benefit to the full from the advantages of online distribution channels. Originality/value – Provides a general overview of a topic that is clearly relevant to gatherers of marketing intelligence and planners of marketing strategy, in the rapidly changing online environment.
Article
This paper presents a theoretical account of the sequence and duration of eye fixation during a number of simple cognitive tasks, such as mental rotation, sentence verification, and quantitative comparison. In each case, the eye fixation behavior is linked to a processing model for the task by assuming that the eye fixates the referent of the symbol being operated on.
Article
Trust is a kind of risky reliance on another person. Social scientists have offered two basic accounts of trust: predictive expectation accounts and staking (betting) accounts. Predictive expectation accounts identify trust with a judgment that performance is likely. Staking accounts identify trust with a judgment that reliance on the person's performance is worthwhile. I argue (1) that these two views of trust are different, (2) that the staking account is preferable to the predictive expectation account on grounds of intuitive adequacy and coherence with plausible explanations of action; and (3) that there are counterexamples to both accounts. I then set forward an additional necessary condition on trust (added to the staking view), according to which trust implies a moral expectation. When A trusts B to do x, A ascribes to B an obligation to do x, and holds B to this obligation. This Moral Expectation view throws new light on some of the consequences of misplaced trust. I use the example of physicians’ defensive behavior/defensive medicine to illustrate this final point.
Conference Paper
Among the various human factors impinging upon making a decision in an uncertain environment, risk and trust are surely crucial ones. Several models for trust have been proposed in the literature but few explicitly take risk into account. This paper analyses the relationship between the two concepts by first looking at how a decision is made to enter into a transaction based on the risk information. We then draw a model of the invested fraction of the capital function of a decision surface. We finally define a model of trust composed of a reliability trust as the probability of transaction success and a decision trust derived from the decision surface.
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Three experiments explored the effects of computer-mediated communication on communication efficiency, participation, interpersonal behavior, and group choice. Groups of three members were asked to reach consensus on career choice problems; they communicated face-to-face and in simultaneous computer-mediated discussions or through computer mail. When groups were linked by computer, group members made fewer remarks than they did face-to-face and took longer to make their group decisions. Social equalization was higher in computer-mediated groups in that group members participated more equally in discussions. Computer-mediated groups also exhibited more uninhibited behavior—using strong and inflammatory expressions in interpersonal interactions. Decisions of computer-mediated groups shifted further away from the members' initial individual choices than group decisions which followed face-to-face discussions. We discuss the implications of these findings for extension of theories about group interaction and for analyses of the effects of Computers in organizations.
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The proportion of money sent, which is typically assumed to reflect trust, decreased significantly as the stake size was increased in a trust game conducted in rural Bangladesh. Nevertheless, even with very large stakes, most senders and receivers sent substantial fractions.
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The aim of the present study was to gain a better understanding of the content characteristics that make online consumer reviews a useful source of consumer information. To this end, we content analyzed reviews of experience and search products posted on (N = 400). The insights derived from this content analysis were linked with the proportion of ‘useful’ votes that reviews received from fellow consumers. The results show that content characteristics are paramount to understanding the perceived usefulness of reviews. Specifically, argumentation (density and diversity) served as a significant predictor of perceived usefulness, as did review valence although this latter effect was contingent on the type of product (search or experience) being evaluated in reviews. The presence of expertise claims appeared to be weakly related to the perceived usefulness of reviews. The broader theoretical, methodological and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investige whether online environment cues (web site quality and web site brand) affect customer purchase intention towards an online retailer and whether this impact is mediated by customer trust and perceived risk. The study also aimed to assess the degree of reciprocity between consumers' trust and perceived risk in the context of an online shopping environment. Design/methodology/approach The study proposed a research framework for testing the relationships among the constructs based on the stimulus‐organism‐response framework. In addition, this study developed a non‐recursive model. After the validation of measurement scales, empirical analyses were performed using structural equation modelling. Findings The findings confirm that web site quality and web site brand affect consumers' trust and perceived risk, and in turn, consumer purchase intention. Notably, this study finds that the web site brand is a more important cue than web site quality in influencing customers' purchase intention. Furthermore, the study reveals that the relationship between trust and perceived risk is reciprocal. Research limitations/implications This study adopted four dimensions – technical adequacy, content quality, specific content and appearance – to measure web site quality. However, there are still many competing concepts regarding the measurement of web site quality. Further studies using other dimensional measures may be needed to verify the research model. Practical implications Online retailers should focus their marketing strategies more on establishing the brand of the web site rather than improving the functionality of the web site. Originality/value This study proposed a non‐recursive model for empirically analysing the link between web site quality, web site brand, trust, perceived risk and purchase intention towards the online retailer.
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Reputation scores and seller photos are regarded as two types of signals promoting trust in e-commerce. Little is known about their differential impact when co-occurring in online transactions. Using a computer-mediated trust game, the current study combined three photo conditions (trustworthy, untrustworthy and no seller photo) with three reputation conditions (positive, negative and no seller reputation) in a 3×3 within-subject design. Buyers' ratings of trust and number of purchases served as dependent variables. Significant main effects were found for reputation scores and photos on both dependent variables and there was no interaction effect. Trustworthy photos and positive reputation contributed towards buyers' trust and higher purchase rates. Surprisingly, neither untrustworthy photos nor negative reputation performed worse than missing information. On the contrary, completely missing information (no reputation, no photo) led to distrust and differed significantly from completely negative information (low reputation, untrustworthy photo), which resulted in a neutral trust level. Overall, the data suggest that not only does positive information increase trust, but mere uncertainty reduction regarding a seller can also contribute towards trust in online transactions.
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Increasing use of the World Wide Web as a B2C commercial tool raises interest in understanding the key issues in building relationships with customers on the Internet. Trust is believed to be the key to these relationships. Given the differences between a virtual and a conventional marketplace, antecedents and consequences of trust merit re-examination. This research identifies a number of key factors related to trust in the B2C context and proposes a framework based on a series of underpinning relationships among these factors. The findings in this research suggest that people are more likely to purchase from the web if they perceive a higher degree of trust in e-commerce and have more experience in using the web. Customer’s trust levels are likely to be influenced by the level of perceived market orientation, site quality, technical trustworthiness, and user’s web experience. People with a higher level of perceived site quality seem to have a higher level of perceived market orientation and trustworthiness towards e-commerce. Furthermore, people with a higher level of trust in e-commerce are more likely to participate in e-commerce. Positive ‘word of mouth’, money back warranty and partnerships with well-known business partners, rank as the top three effective risk reduction tactics. These findings complement the previous findings on e-commerce and shed light on how to establish a trust relationship on the World Wide Web.
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Online reputation - "feedback" - mechanisms aim to mitigate the moral hazard problem associated with spatially distant exchange among strangers by providing traders with the type of information available in small groups, where members are frequently involved in one another's dealings. We compare trading in a market with feedback to a market without, as well as to a market in which the same people interact with one another repeatedly (partners market). We find that, while the feedback mechanism induces quite a substantial improvement in transaction efficiency, it also exhibits a kind of public goods problem in that, unlike the partners market, the benefits of trust and trustworthy behavior go to the whole community and are not completely internalized. We discuss the implications of this perspective for improving these systems.
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The creation of online consumer communities to provide product reviews and advice has been touted as an important, albeit somewhat expensive component of Internet retail strategies. In this paper, we characterize reviewer behavior at two popular Internet sites and examine the effect of consumer reviews on firms' sales. We use publicly available data from the two leading online booksellers, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, to construct measures of each firm's sales of individual books. We also gather extensive consumer review data at the two sites. First, we characterize the reviewer behavior on the two sites such as the distribution of the number of ratings and the valence and length of ratings, as well as ratings across different subject categories. Second, we measure the effect of individual reviews on the relative shares of books across the two sites. We argue that our methodology of comparing the sales and reviews of a given book across Internet retailers allows us to improve on the existing literature by better capturing a causal relationship between word of mouth (reviews) and sales since we are able to difference out factors that affect the sales and word of mouth of both retailers, such as the book's quality. We examine the incremental sales effects of having reviews for a particular book versus not having reviews and also the differential sales effects of positive and negative reviews. Our large database of books also allows us to control for other important confounding factors such as differences across the sites in prices and shipping times.
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Presents a model of reading comprehension that accounts for the allocation of eye fixations of 14 college students reading scientific passages. The model deals with processing at the level of words, clauses, and text units. Readers made longer pauses at points where processing loads were greater. Greater loads occurred while readers were accessing infrequent words, integrating information from important clauses, and making inferences at the ends of sentences. The model accounts for the gaze duration on each word of text as a function of the involvement of the various levels of processing. The model is embedded in a theoretical framework capable of accommodating the flexibility of reading. (70 ref)
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"Employing a procedure suggested by a simple theoretical model of auctions in which bidders and sellers have observable and heterogenous reputations for default, we examine the effect of reputation on price in a data set drawn from the online auction site eBay. Our main empirical result is that seller's, but not bidder's, reputation has an economically and statistically significant effect on price." Copyright 2006, The Author(s) Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Blackwell Publishing.
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We conducted the first randomized controlled study of an Internet reputation mechanism. A high-reputation, established eBay dealer sold matched pairs of items -- batches of vintage postcards -- under his regular identity and new seller identities (also operated by him). As predicted, the established identity fared better. The difference in buyers' willingness-to-pay was 8.1% of the selling price. A subsidiary experiment followed the same format, but compared sales by relatively new sellers with and without negative feedback. Surprisingly, one or two negative feedbacks for our new sellers did not affect buyers' willingness-to-pay. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation under grant number IIS-9977999. Mihir Mahajan provided valuable research assistance. The participants in seminars at the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona provided useful feedback.
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E-commerce stretches interactions over space and time, and thus requires more trust than traditional shopping. Current approaches to trust-building in e-commerce focus on cognitive trust. Human trust decisions, however, are also based on affective reactions, which can be triggered by interpersonal cues. This research investigates the effect of visual interpersonal cues on users' trust in e-commerce. First results indicate that visual interpersonal cues in the form of photographs have an effect on users' decisionmaking. This effect, however, strongly depends on context variables, as well as individual differences. A further issue under investigation is the potential negative effect of interpersonal cues on task performance. Thus, in a next stage, this research will combine eye-tracking with physiological measurements to investigate effects on task performance and user cost.