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Virtual trust: An experimental approach

Thomas Chesney (), Swee-Hoon Chuah () and Robert Hoffmann ()
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Thomas Chesney: Nottingham University Business School

ICBBR Working Papers from International Centre for Behavioural Business Research

Abstract: This paper reports decision-making experiments designed to assess to what extent trade in virtual environments can reduce the trust deficit commonly associated with traditional e-commerce compared with ÔphysicalÕ trade. Our approach is based on previous findings that trust is related to the degree of social presence the electronic interface permits. We compare the behaviour of incentivised subjects in trust games conducted in physical laboratory, virtual world and website settings. While the web interface is characterised by least trust and trustworthiness of the three, there is no evidence for lower trust in virtual environments. These results suggest a role for v-commerce in combining the social presence benefits of physical trading environments with the information economies of e-commerce.

Keywords: trust; e-commerce; virtual worlds; experiments; social presence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C88 C99 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-03-01
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