Dimensions of Technology Trustworthiness and Technology Trust Modes

Dimensions of Technology Trustworthiness and Technology Trust Modes

Narasimha Paravastu
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch422
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Trust is important in personal as well as business relationships because it reduces perceptions of social complexity, uncertainty and risk (Luhmann, 1979; Molm, Takahashi, & Peterson, 2000). Just as with interpersonal trust, users often perceive factors of uncertainty with technology too, such as security, privacy and performance. Recognizing the importance of trust beyond interpersonal contexts, recent research extended trust to the context of trust in technology artifacts (Kim & Prabhakar, 2004; Mcknight, Carter, Thatcher, & Clay, 2011; Paravastu, Gefen, & Creason, 2014; Wang & Benbasat, 2005, 2007). This article reviews the past research in the area of technology trust and trustworthiness constructs and tries to integrate technology trust constructs and the usefulness and perceived ease of use constructs proposed in Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1989) that predict technology usage. This article extrapolates and extends interpersonal trust modes to software artifacts and proposes a comprehensive model of technology trust, trustworthiness, and technology trust modes, and discusses the implications of relationships among those constructs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology Trust: The willingness of the user to bear the consequences of relying on a technology or software artifact based on an expectation that it will help accomplish objectives expected of it that are important to the user.

Knowledge-based trust: An informed assessment that the probable future behaviors can be accurately estimated and relied upon for positive relational outcomes or the parties, based on their past interactions. In the context of technology trust, it is the user’s understanding of the technology, based on having adopted and used the technology.

Perceived Ease-of-Use: The degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be effortless.

Perceived usefulness: The perception of a user about the extent to which a particular technology would contribute to accomplish tasks important to the user.

Calculative Based Trust: A scrupulous estimate about the behavior of the parties in a trusting relationship that the other party will fulfill their part of the obligations because violation of trust may not be to the benefit of either party. In the context of technology trust, it is the users’ mental assessment of benefits from using a particular technology versus the risk out of using it.

Trust Modes: The external factors which form the basis for trusting beliefs and trusting intentions.

Benevolence: The belief that the trusted party will act without self-interest and care for the interests of the trusting party.

Interpersonal Trust: The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another based on assessments about the characteristics of the trustee such as ability, benevolence and integrity.

Performance or Functionality: A trustworthiness attribute of technology and is defined as the users’ perceptions of capability of the software artifact to accomplish the purpose for which it was designed.

Ability: The specific set of skills of the trustee in a particular domain that enable him or her to fulfill the responsibilities that are expected of him or her and important for the person trusting.

Institutional-Based Trust: The perception of security in a trust relationship that the expected outcomes and the remedies for violations are guaranteed by the structural assurances and situational normality built into the relationship.

Predictability or Reliability: A trustworthiness attribute of technology and is defined as the users’ perceptions that a software or technology will do what it is claimed to do reliably and consistently, and not doing anything malicious.

Structural Assurances: The institutional guarantee structures built into the relationship such as formal contracts, guarantees, and legal recourse that are available to the trusting party to ensure success of a transactional exchange.

Situational Normality: The perception that the relationship is similar to other similar trust exchanges, and the favorable conditions exist in the relationship for successful outcomes. In the context of technology, situational normality is the user’s feeling of ease with a class of technologies, to which the particular technology the user plans to trust or use belongs.

Helpfulness: A trustworthiness attribute of technology and is defined as the software being able to provide help, guidance or direction, when the users need it.

Integrity: The belief that the trustee will adhere to an expected ethical or moral code.

Trustworthiness Beliefs: The set of beliefs about the characteristics specific to the trustee, or, in case of technology trust, a technology artifact.

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