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ERIC Number: ED546927
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 161
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-0768-6
The Antecedents, Objects, and Consequents of User Trust in Location-Based Social Networks
Russo, Paul
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Online social networks provide rich opportunities to interact with friends and other online community members. At the same time, the addition of emerging location-sharing technologies--which broadcast a user's location online, including who they are with and what is happening nearby--is creating new dimensions to the types of interactions that social networks make available to their subscribers. These emergent capabilities offer a host of social opportunities but also come with risks to individual privacy and security that often dissuade people from participating in location-sharing interactions. Trust is one critical factor that can help people overcome these risk and privacy concerns. Research in e-commerce has played a seminal role in the theory development and empirical validation of the role of trust in facilitating deep relationships between online consumers and vendors. In addition, studies on motivations and interaction design help explain what makes traditional online communities successful. However, most works on location-based social networks are conceptual, with very limited empirical support. Drawing from research on information systems, social psychology, and social networks, this dissertation develops and validates a causal model linking a social network subscriber's trust in the location--sharing technology and in other network members-the objects of his or her trust beliefs--to the willingness to participate in the location-based social network-the consequents of those trust beliefs. Likewise, the model proposes a set of antecedent conditions that precipitate that trust. To test the model, I collect survey data from a large sample of active, experienced Facebook users about their beliefs and attitudes toward Facebook's Places application, a location-sharing technology embedded in Facebook's mobile interface. My results suggest that both trust in the technology artifact and trust in other network users positively influence willingness to participate in location-based social interactions. The most important antecedent condition that leads to trust in the technology artifact is its usability. Also true, structural assurances--the belief that there are policies, procedures, and technologies in place that protect the user from harm by another--lead to trust in the network. Unexpectedly, situation normality, referrals from other users, and critical mass played no role in influencing trust in the artifact. Similarly, net utility did not influence trust in the network of users. However, I found that there are significant differences between the trusting attitudes of men and women. For example, trust has a much stronger influence on willingness to participate in women than in men. Likewise, the antecedent conditions leading to trust were affected by gender. Implications for theory and practice as well as limitations and future work are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A