Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants? : The Impact of User Characteristics on Online Trust

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract Previous research suggests that user characteristics such as web experience and demographics may affect online trust. Drawing on social cognitive theory, we explore the moderating effect of user characteristics on online trust. Based on a survey of German Internet users, we differentiate three groups by age, web experience, and education. We term these groups digital natives, digital immigrants, and naturalized digitals. A multiple-group analysis reveals significant differences in trust formation, particularly in the cues considered in the evaluation of online services. Whereas a large user base inspires confidence in digital natives, naturalized digitals are more geared toward familiar brands and recommendations. Digital immigrants most critically weigh the risks of a transaction against its benefits. We argue that specific user characteristics are associated with distinct cognitive schemata, implying distinct interests and evaluations in online transactions. Online services should differentiate their signaling efforts according to the targeted customer group.
Authors Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam
Projects Meckel, Miriam; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & von Kaenel, Andrea (2008) Sicherheit versus Privatheit - Vertrauensfaktoren im Umgang mit Daten und Konsequenzen für die digitale Identität [applied research project]
Journal or Publication Title Journal of Management Information Systems
Language English
Keywords e-business, online trust, trust cues, web user characteristics, website signaling
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Business Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 11 March 2015
Publisher Sharpe
Place of Publication Armonk, NY
Volume 31
Number 3
Page Range 138-171
Number of Pages 34
ISSN 0742-1222
ISSN-Digital 1557-928X
Publisher DOI
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Christian Pieter Hoffmann
Date Deposited 11 Mar 2015 18:36
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:24


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Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2015) Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants? : The Impact of User Characteristics on Online Trust. Journal of Management Information Systems, 31 (3). 138-171. ISSN 0742-1222

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