Networking Reference
In-Depth Information
Trust goals generally map to constructs that fall in these very general classes, but
they can be much more specific. Alan trusts his doctor to diagnose him correctly
(competence) and tell him the truth (trustworthiness). He trusts Chip to hold the
ladder so he does not fall (competence). Alice trusts Google Maps to have the
correct answer (competence) and have the best coverage of location information
(competence). Alice trusts Wikipedia to have the most objective (trustworthiness
of the source) and the most comprehensive (competence of the source) information
on a topic. Alice trusts Bob to send her purchase quickly as he promises (trust-
worthiness), and the electronic marketplace to provide accurate information about
Bob (trustworthiness) and reduce his reputation score if she gives a bad comment
(trustworthiness).
All these subgoals describe a trust construct and a trustee that the trustor is
dependent on for that construct. Is there a distinction between how competence
and trustworthiness are evaluated when the trustee is a person vs. when it is an
automated system? This is a topic of research. We will review some of the literature
on this issue in the next chapter.
2.3.4
Trust Evaluation: Cues, Network and Time Effects
The final critical component of trust context is the environment in which trust is
evaluated. There are some significant effects that must be considered when human
cognition is involved. We review some of these issues in this section. One can also
find parallel issues of concern in the design of algorithms that compute trust. We
will review those in Chap. 4 .
The first effect we have discussed at length is the credibility of the information
that is being considered. We have seen the complex decision making process in-
volved in deciding whether to trust information or not. The source's trustworthiness
may trump the credibility of information in some cases, and in other cases the
reverse may happen.
Let's go back to Alice and Bob walking to the restaurant that Bob thinks is at 45th
St. Even though Alice remembers quite well that it is around 34th, she decides to
believe Bob. After a long walk, they reach 45th Street and find out that the restaurant
is not there. A quick search reveals that in fact Bob's online source was wrong;
Alice was right all along. She knew this, too! Why did she believe Bob? A well-
known fact is that we are willing to override our own evaluations of information,
even when we are quite sure, by those of a so-called expert. Often we say that we
knew it all along, but still somehow ended up believing someone else. The reason
is that evaluating information and reconciling conflicts take cognitive effort. Often,
we are not willing to spend this effort unless we do not trust the source completely
or some other outside conditions prime us to do so. Hence, the dependence for the
information could change drastically depending on the situation.
Utilities are discussed in almost all trust research to define what the trustor
expects to gain or lose in various situations. For cognitive trust, how the choices
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