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Modelling trust formation in health information contexts

Johnson, F and Rowley, J and Sbaffi, L (2015) Modelling trust formation in health information contexts. Journal of Information Science, 41. ISSN 0165-5515


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This study explores trust formation in the context of health information. Trust as an interpersonal notion, when formed in a vulnerable state, is a response or belief about how the trusted will behave towards the trustor. This study focuses on the process of assessing the trustworthiness of information, in a dependency state of information need, through the identification of the many factors influencing this assessment. A set of propositions are developed to suggest the criteria by which trustworthiness is assessed as well as the factors that influence these judgements. The proposed model is tested in a large-scale survey using a trust inventory with factor analysis to explore the constructs of trust formation. Structural equation modelling is used to explore the relationship among the identified criteria and their influencing factors. The resulting framework contributes to the understanding of trust formation in digital information contexts on the criteria of usefulness and credibility and further research into the influencing factors is recommended.

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