Source Salience and the Persuasiveness of Peer Recommendations: The Mediating Role of Social Trust
A lack of trust and face-to-face interaction prevents many people from purchasing online. Relevant research aimed at overcoming such problems is often based on the assumption that providing social information increases trust. These studies, however, have yielded inconsistent results, arguably because trust is usually treated as a unidimensional concept. This study targets the influence of social information on trust by taking account of the multidimensional nature of trust. Peer recommendations in product judgment tasks were hypothesized to affect consumers’ product attitudes via social trust, rather than competence, if peer images are available and uncertainty associated with products is high. Results indeed support mediation by social trust, but only for experience products.
KeywordsE-commerce peer recommendations social trust social presence
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