Personalisation and Trust: A Reciprocal Relationship? [chapter]

Pamela Briggs, Brad Simpson, Antonella De Angeli
2004 Designing Personalized User Experiences in eCommerce  
to a specific context. Within the psychology literature, for example, a distinction is made between the kinds of trust that support transient interactions and those that support longer-term relationships (e.g. Meyerson et al, 1996) but even within the latter, it is argued that people can experience both cognitive trust, based on rational decision-making and emotional trust, based on strong feelings towards another individual (e.g. McAllister, 1995) . Such various manifestations of trust have
more » ... researchers such as Corritore et al. (2003) to conclude that there is not one unitary trust concept, but: 'a multi-dimensional family of trust concepts, each with a unique focus. ' (pg. 738). The picture is further complicated, within an e-commerce context, by the fact that customers must be prepared to place their trust not only in an online vendor but also in the technology that underpins an interaction. Understanding the context for trust, therefore involves understanding issues of encryption and data security as well as understanding the development of a psychological bond. Bollier (1996) , for example argued that: It may be conceptually useful to distinguish between issues of "hard trust," which involve authenticity, encryption, and security in transactions, and issues of "soft trust," which involve human psychology, brand loyalty, and user-friendliness.....it is important to see that the problems of engendering trust are not simply technical in nature.....Trust is also a matter of making psychological, sociological, and institutional adjustments. Bollier (1996, p.21) Researchers do agree, however, that trust is only really understood in terms of some associated, underlying risk (Brien, 1988; Mayer et al., 1995) . The act of trust is thus the act of making oneself vulnerable to one or more threats but the nature of trust critically depends upon the nature of those threats. Grabner-Krauter et al. (2003) have explored the risks inherent in e-commerce transactions and point out that online consumers are faced with both: -System-dependent uncertainties including technological errors and security gaps located at the desktop or the marketplace server; and -Transaction-specific uncertainties which relate more closely to the behaviours of the Internet merchant -the quality of the products on sale and the professionalism of the transaction. Both types of uncertainty hold significant threats for the consumer. Thus in an ecommerce context, trust in an online vendor invokes inter alia the threat of financial loss, of privacy violation, identity theft and a threat to personal reputation. Other threats include exposure to spam and various telemarketing initiatives 2 and while
doi:10.1007/1-4020-2148-8_4 fatcat:4qwq5sftyvbullawmaiolq6h4q