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Publication Detail
The Researcher's Dilemma: Evaluating Trust in Computer Mediated Communications
The aim of this paper is to establish a methodological foundation for human–computer interaction (HCI) researchers aiming to assess trust between people interacting via computermediated communication (CMC) technology. The most popular experimental paradigm currently employed by HCI researchers are social dilemma games based on the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD), a technique originating from economics. HCI researchers employing this experimental paradigm currently interpret the rate of cooperation—measured in the form of collective pay-off—as the level of trust the technology allows its users to develop. We argue that this interpretation is problematic, since the game’s synchronous nature models only very specific trust situations. Furthermore, experiments that are based on PD games cannot model the complexity of how trust is formed in the real world, since they neglect factors such as ability and benevolence. In conclusion, we recommend (a) means of improving social dilemma experiments by using asynchronous Trust Games, (b) collecting a broader range of data (in particular qualitative) and (c) increased use of longitudinal studies.
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