Proposing the Affect-Trust Infusion Model (ATIM) to Explain and Predict the Influence of High- and Low-Affect Infusion on Web-Vendor Trust
Information & Management, vol. 51(5), pp. 579–594
66 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014 Last revised: 19 Jun 2014
Date Written: April 28, 2014
Trust is just as essential to online business as it is to offline transactions but can be more difficult to achieve — especially for newer Web sites associated with unknown Web vendors. Research explains that Web vendor trust can be created by cognitive and affective influences. But under what circumstances will emotion more powerfully impact trust and when will cognition be more powerful? Theory-based answers to these questions can help online Web vendors design better Web sites that account for unleveraged factors that will increase trust in the Web vendor.
We adapt the Affect Infusion Model to propose the Affect-Trust Infusion Model (ATIM) that explains and predicts how and when cognition, through perceived Web site performance (PWP), and positive emotion (PE) each influence Web vendor trust. ATIM explains the underlying causal mechanisms that determine the degree of affect infusion and the subsequent processing strategy that a user adopts when interacting with a new Web site. Under high-affect infusion, PE acts as a mediator between PWP and vendor trust; under low-affect infusion, PWP primarily impacts trust and PE is disintermediated. We review two distinct, rigorously validated experiments that empirically support ATIM. To conclude, we detail several promising research opportunities that can leverage ATIM and show how it can help to guide user-centered design (UCD) as example practical application.
Keywords: Website design, trust, emotion, affect, affect infusion, Web site performance, Affect-Trust Infusion Model (ATIM)
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