University of Southampton
ASSESSING USER PERCEPTIONS OF TRUST AND SECURITY IN MANIPULATED VERSIONS OF LOW TRUST AND HIGH TRUSTS TOURISM WEBSITES
The aim of this study was to investigate how perceptions of security and trust are involved in user evaluations of tourism websites and whether manipulations to heighten or lessen trust features could predict trust perceptions. Seven websites were manipulated to produce low and high trust versions, with the original used as a control version. Four trust manipulations were used based on the literature: level of currency, credibility, craftsmanship and trust logos. Fifty- six participants viewed one version of each website for 6 seconds and submitted an immediate rating of trust for each site. Following this, an 11-item self-report measure was completed for each website, to collect more considered perceptions of trust, appeal, security and usability. Self-perception measures of trust disposition and concern for information privacy were also collected. The analyses showed that the presence or absence of trust features reliably led to higher and lower perceptions of trust respectively. Also, those scoring higher on trust disposition gave higher trust ratings. We conclude that websites can be reliably designed to engender more or less perceived trust, however individual differences need to be considered. This preliminary research is limited but studying just four factors and further research is needed to manipulate other website features.
Key words: trust, privacy, security, cybersecurity, personality, credibility
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