Internet-based information technology enables impromptu, virtually anonymous interactions between geographically dispersed, diverse others that is an order of magnitude larger than any preceding information technology. With this increased networking capability comes increased risk and uncertainty. We conducted a content analysis to identify what trustors in peer-to-peer computer-mediated transactions communicate to other trustors regarding the trustworthiness of a trustee with whom they have interacted. In our study, 61% of all feedback comments made reference to the trustworthiness of the trustee. Nearly half of all comments referred to the ability of the trustee while nearly a quarter referred to the trustee's integrity. Very few references to benevolence were observed. The relevance of this study is that it informs the process of designing and developing systems that reduce the risk and uncertainty engendered by this new form of connectivity and interaction.
Pardue, J. Harold; Landry, Jeffrey P.; and Shaw, Christopher E., "Trustworthiness in Computer-Mediated Transactions: A Content Analysis of Trustor Feedback " (2007). SAIS 2007 Proceedings. 19.