Do People Trust Facebook as a Technology or as a "Person"? Distinguishing Technology Trust from Interpersonal Trust

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Conference Proceeding

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Several researchers have studied technology trust in terms of the technological artifact of the technology. Two different types of trusting beliefs could apply to websites. First, the trusting beliefs may relate to interpersonal characteristics such as benevolence, competence, and integrity. Second, they may relate to technology characteristics such as helpfulness, functionality, and reliability. Since social networking websites like Facebook may demonstrate either interpersonal trust characteristics or technology trust characteristics, researchers may need to carefully choose the beliefs to model. Thus it is important to not only understand the conceptual meaning of these beliefs, but also whether human and technology trust beliefs of technology trust are distinct. Using data collected from Facebook users, we test alternate factor structures for a measurement model containing three interpersonal trust beliefs and three technology trust beliefs. We find the data fits a first-order six-factor model the best. This suggests people can distinguish between trust in Facebook’s interpersonal and technology trust characteristics. it also shows they can distinguish between the individual components of these characteristics.


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