Dissertation
Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Psychological processes and mental state > Emotions and emotional

The Influence of Emotions on Online Interpersonal Trust

Author ZhaoJing
Tutor SunXiaoJun
School Central China Normal University
Course Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords online interpersonal trust emotion avatar the type of group
CLC B842.6
Type Master's thesis
Year 2014
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With the rapid development of the Internet, interaction became one of the main purposes of individual Internet use. Internet is a medium which can help individuals establish contacts with strangers, and provides convenience for people. At the same time, it leads to the uncertainty of communication objects, then it may increase the interaction risk. Therefore, researchers point that trust is a key factor in online communication. And they have explored many influencing factors of online interpersonal trust, such as online environment, personality, cognitive antecedents. However, affective influences have been ignored.In fact, trusting decisions are often made in emotionally charged environments, and many researchers suggest that emotion is a significant factor of interpersonal trust. In view of this, based on the theory of emotion and interpersonal trust, our study intends to explore the effects of emotions on online interpersonal trust.In the first experiment, trust game paradigm is used to investigate the affect of emotion on online interpersonal trust for different levels of trustees’ avatar.97undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of three conditions in a3(mood:positive/neutral/negative, between subjects)×4(avatar:real male/real female/default cartoon avatar/no avatar, within subjects) mixed factorial design. The results indicated that:in the condition of real avatar, positive emotion could facilitate online interpersonal trust, however, negative emotions was improbable to reduce the level of online interpersonal trust. And in the condition of non-real avatar, the impact of emotion on online interpersonal trust was not significant.In the second experiment, the study is to explore the affect of emotion on online interpersonal trust of trustees who belonged of different types of online group.97undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of three conditions in a3(mood:positive/neutral/negative, between subjects) x2(group:within-group/intergroup, within subjects) mixed factorial design. The results indicated that:in the setting of within-group, positive motion could facilitate online interpersonal trust, however, negative emotions was improbable to reduce the level of online interpersonal trust. And in the setting of intergroup, the impact of emotion on online interpersonal trust was not significant. The results of the two experiments showed that there was not general strengthening role of positive emotions on online interpersonal trust, and the relationship between them was affected by social clues of trustees. In details, when the social clues of a trustee was more abundant, positive emotions increase the level of online interpersonal trust; when the trustee is extremely lack of social clues, positive emotions didn’t have an effect on online interpersonal trust. However, whether social clues of trustees was rich or not, there was not weakening affect of negative emotions on online interpersonal trust.In addition, the study also found that the level of individuals’ online interpersonal trust was relatively low, and there was no significant gender differences. The type of group and avatar of trustees were important influencing factor of their credibility.

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