Competence of the
thoughts by comparing them to themselves [ 12 , 13 ]. Our understanding of ourselves
and others evolves over time through shared social activities and cultural learning.
These activities create a common set of expected behavioral patterns and social
norms [ 18 ]. In short, we tend to think that people who act and talk like us probably
think like us and have similar intentions. We project ourselves onto others. In-group
and out-group dynamics and friend or foe categories typically result in judgments
of intent. Those who are in the in-group are associated with positive intent, while
those in the out-group are perceived as having negative intent. Due to the close links
of good intentions to the trustworthiness dimension, most categorizations consider
only the first two constructs for trust. However, most point out that an untrustworthy
person is treated very differently than a person with bad intent, i.e., a distrusted
person for whom trustworthiness is considered negative. When an untrusworthy
person starts to act trustworthy, trust may eventually develop. However, a distrusted
person's trustworthy actions may be met with suspicision and disregarded. As a
result, trust may never develop. A simple example of this type distrust can be seen
between individuals from social groups that have historically been in conflict. The
burden of proof is much higher in these cases for trust relationships to develop.
Research in information trust [ 8 ] shows that people use various different con-
structs in this case as well such as truthfulness, believability, accuracy, objectivity,
timeliness or reliability. It is also possible to classify these into two main categories.
Truthfulness is more of an affective factor that represents a dependence on the
trustworthiness of the source. Accuracy and timeliness on the other hand, are more
closely linked to the competence of the source. Similar to ability, they are specific
to a topic. In essence, parallel notions of trustworthiness and competence of the
sources exist when considering information.
Believability, on the other hand, can be tied more closely to the information itself
and the trustor's evaluation of it. As we discussed earlier, evaluation of information
trust also involves the trustor's evaluations of the information. As this subgoal
involves only the trustor, we can also consider this as a significant component of
the trust evaluation context.