Trust the Words: Insights into the Role of Language in Trust Building in a Digitalized World
There is more to words than just the meanings they convey. Especially in online settings in which information about others is limited, the words employed play an important role in assessing an interlocutor’s trustworthiness. Therefore, based on ability, benevolence, and integrity as the components of trustworthiness, we investigated word usage in three exemplary digitalized settings. The first scenario is a peer-to-peer discussion in online forums (e.g., when students need support in overcoming their procrastination). The second scenario is searching for online health advice (e.g., retrieving health information from other users with varying medical expertise). The third is online communication with spoken dialogue systems (e.g., asking Apple’s® Siri® how to find one’s way in an unknown town). Referring to the word usage in the respective communication setting, we address central language-related trust issues: (a) self-disclosure and the communication of empathy, (b) technical language and cues regarding the fragility of evidence, and (c) perceiving a shared view through lexical overlaps. The contribution ends with an outline of future research on the interplay between these three issues and trust.
KeywordsTrust Communication Self-disclosure Spoken dialogue systems Technical language
- Branigan, H., & Pearson, J. (2006). Alignment in human-computer interaction. In K. Fischer (Ed.). How people talk to computers, robots, and other artificial communication partners. Proceedings of the Workshop Hansewissenschaftskolleg (pp. 140–156). http://www.sfbtr8.uni-bremen.de/papers/SFB_TR_8_Rep_010-09_2006.pdf. Accessed 9 September 2015.
- Brennan, S. E. (1996). Lexical entrainment in spontaneous dialog. Proceedings of ISSD, 96, 41–44.Google Scholar
- Bromme, R. (1996). Fachbegriffe. In G. Strube, B. Becker, C. Freska, U. Hahn, G. Palm, & K. Opwis (Eds.), Wörterbuch der Kognitionswissenschaft (p. 184). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.Google Scholar
- Bromme, R., & Jucks, R. (2014). Fragen Sie Ihren Arzt oder Apotheker: Die Psychologie der Experten-Laien-Kommunikation. In M. Blanz, A. Florack, & U. Piontkowski (Eds.), Kommunikation. Eine interdisziplinäre Einführung (pp. 237–249). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.Google Scholar
- DeVito, J. A. (1995). Human communication. New York, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.Google Scholar
- Grand View Research. (2014). Intelligent virtual assistant market analysis and segment forecasts to 2020. http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/intelligent-virtual-assistant-industry. Accessed 15 April 2015.
- Ickes, W. (1997). Empathic accuracy. New York, NY: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Joinson, A. N., & Paine, C. B. (2007). Self-disclosure, privacy and the Internet. In A. N. Joinson, K. Y. A. McKenna, T. Postmes, & U.-D. Reips (Eds.), Oxford handbook of Internet psychology (pp. 237–252). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jourard, S. M. (1971). Self-disclosure: An experimental analysis of the transparent self. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Jucks, R., Päuler, L., & Brummernhenrich, B. (2016). “I need to be explicit: You’re wrong:” Impact of face threats on social evaluations in online instructional communication. Interacting with Computers, 28(1), 73–84. doi: 10.1093/iwc/iwu032.
- Linnemann, G. A., & Jucks, R. (2016). “As in the question, so in the answer?” Language style of human and machine speakers affects interlocutors’ convergence on wordings. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1177/0261927X15625444
- Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 709–734.Google Scholar
- Moll, R., & Pieschl, S. (2015). Expecting collective privacy – A new perspective on trust in online communication. In B. Bloebaum (Ed.), Trust and communication in a digitalized world. Models and concepts of trust research. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
- Nass, C., & Lee, K. M. (2000, April). Does computer-generated speech manifest personality? An experimental test of similarity-attraction. In Proceedings of the CHI 2000 Conference on Human factors in computing systems, The Hague, Netherlands. doi:10.1145/332040.332452.Google Scholar
- Petronio, S. S. (2002). Boundaries of privacy: Dialectics of disclosure. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
- Pickering, S., & Garrod, S. (2004). Towards a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 169–226.Google Scholar
- Stehr, N., & Grundmann, R. (2015). Expertenwissen - Die Kultur und die Macht von Experten, Beratern und Ratgebern. Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft.Google Scholar
- Thon, F. M., & Jucks, R. (submitted). Believing in expertise: How authors’ credentials and language use influence the credibility of online health information.Google Scholar
- Torrey, C., Powers, A., Marge, M., Fussell, S. R., & Kiesler, S. (2006, March). Effects of adaptive robot dialogue on information exchange and social relations. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGCHI/SIGART conference on Human-robot interaction (pp. 126–133). ACM.Google Scholar
- Weisband, S., & Kiesler, S. (1996, April). Self disclosure on computer forms: Meta-analysis and implications. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 3–10). ACM.Google Scholar
- Windshuttle, K., & Elliot, E. (1999). Writing, researching, communicating. Communication skills for the information age (3rd ed.). Sydney: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar