One of the most ubiquitous examples of information technology is the World Wide Web. On the Web, hypertext links are everywhere, but trust may be hard to find. This research examines how the presentation of groups of links may affect consumers’ trust in organizations encountered on the Web. We use an experimental methodology to examine how the description of a hypertext list and the familiarity of members of the list may affect trust in both familiar and unknown target organizations. Our theoretical model is rooted in the literatures on trust transfer and entitativity, which is the extent to which individual entities are perceived as forming a group. Results are expected to answer practical questions with regard to the use and presentation of hypertext links and also to extend the trust transfer literature by examining factors not previously considered: super- dyadic transfer and potential negative effects of transfer.
Stewart, Katherine and Malaga, Ross, "Links Are Everywhere: Effects of Web-Based Groupings on Trust Transfer" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 90.