The effect of user interactions on shaping online trust: Evidence from a large-scale experiment

Chenyang Zhu, Bruno Abrahao, Anqi Zhao, Paolo Parigi

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    Trust is critical to the healthy function and growth of organizations. In particular, the success of online platforms of resource exchange, which depends on enabling trust between strangers, hinges on understanding factors that contribute to the engineering of trust. While reputation systems have proved effective in fostering trust and in offsetting prevalent social biases, it has been challenging to measure the extent to which having a peer-to-peer experience shapes judgment of trustworthiness, both in other members and in the platform itself. We draw causal conclusions from a longitudinal experiment that tracked 3,374 Airbnb users over time. We found that the average causal effect of a good user interaction enhances trust in the platform while reducing the importance users place in social similarity in their decision-making process. The effect is homogenous across groups of different socio-demographic features, which shows evidence that almost all subgroups benefit from positive user interactions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    StatePublished - 2020
    Event24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems: Information Systems (IS) for the Future, PACIS 2020 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Duration: Jun 20 2020Jun 24 2020

    Conference

    Conference24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems: Information Systems (IS) for the Future, PACIS 2020
    CountryUnited Arab Emirates
    CityDubai
    Period6/20/206/24/20

    Keywords

    • Causal inference
    • Experience
    • Natural experiment
    • Sharing economy
    • Trust

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Information Systems

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