Degrees of Humanness in Technology: What Type of Trust Matters?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Significant research has shown the impact of trust (i.e., trusting beliefs) in information technology (IT) settings. Most research has investigated trust between the consumer and the e-vendor. However, IT researchers have begun to investigate user trust in the technology artifact itself (trust-in-technology). This research has measured trust using both interpersonal trust variables (ability, benevolence, and integrity) and system-like trust variables (functionality, helpfulness, and reliability). Both measures seem to work. However, it is unclear when researchers should use interpersonal versus system-like trust-in-technology constructs. This study hypothesizes interpersonal trust will have a stronger influence on users’ outcomes when the technology is more human-like. By contrast, system-like trust will have a stronger influence when the technology is less human-like. We validate this concept by measuring how both interpersonal and system-like trust predict user outcomes across three technologies: Facebook (high humanness), a recommendation agent (medium humanness), and Microsoft Access (low humanness).


Copyright © 2011, Association for Information Systems.