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Whoops... did I use the wrong concept to predict e-commerce trust? Modeling the risk-related effects of trust versus distrust concepts

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3 Author(s)
McKnight, H. ; Michigan State Univ., USA ; Kacmar, C. ; Choudhury, V.

Significant work has been initiated on trust in e-commerce settings, but little research has addressed distrust. Because of its connection to the insecurities that are found in risky situations, disposition to distrust is particularly suited to addressing issues of high risk, while disposition to trust is better suited for low risk issues. High risk issues include: a) perceptions that the Web is risky; and b) a willingness to depend on a specific unknown Web vendor in light of that risk. This theoretical position serves as the basis of a model of what causes consumers to initially decide to trust/distrust the Web and to explore and trust a Web site. The model includes three dispositions to trust constructs and one disposition to distrust construct. As proposed, the study found that disposition to trust predicted the low risk Web constructs, while disposition to distrust predicted the high risk Web constructs. This suggests that disposition to distrust has greater potential for predicting high-risk outcome constructs in e-commerce. This article contributes by showing how various aspects of disposition to trust/distrust affect consumer Web perceptions in different ways, depending on their level of risk. For e-commerce research, the findings of this article suggest that perhaps scholars have been studying a less effective factor for addressing risk - disposition to trust - instead of what may be a more effective factor - disposition to distrust.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2003. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

6-9 Jan. 2003