Handbook of Research Methods on Trust
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Handbook of Research Methods on Trust

Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders

The Handbook of Research Methods on Trust provides an authoritative in-depth consideration of quantitative and qualitative methods for empirical study of trust in the social sciences. As this topic has matured, a growing number of practical approaches and techniques has been utilised across the broad, multidisciplinary community of trust research, providing both insights and challenges. This unique Handbook draws together a wealth of research methods knowledge gained by trust researchers into one essential volume. The contributors examine different methodological issues and particular methods, as well as share their experiences of what works, what does not work, challenges and innovations.
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Chapter 20: Measuring the Decision to Trust Using Metric Conjoint Analysis

Richard L. Priem and Antoinette A. Weibel


Richard L. Priem and Antoinette A. Weibel INTRODUCTION Conjoint analysis is a quantitative technique for capturing the utilities, preferences, understandings, perceptions, beliefs, or judgments of decision-makers (Arkes and Hammond, 1986), and ultimately for identifying the relative contributions of attributes and their levels to decisionmakers’ actions (Hair et al., 1987). Its name is derived from the two words ‘considered’ and ‘jointly’ (McCullough, 2002), which together capture its fundamental use characteristic – an individual making a decision (for example addressing a trust situation) based on multiple attributes that must be considered together. Because conjoint analysis examines the decision-making process by asking trustors actually to make decisions, rather than by relying on the theories or processes trustors say they use in retrospective accounts, it provides trust researchers with the ability to capture the ‘theories-in-use’ (Argyris and Schon, 1974) of trustors, instead of their ‘espoused theories’. These ‘theories-in-use’ represent the underlying cognitive processes that drive a trustor’s decision to accept vulnerability in particular trust situations. Despite the potential of conjoint analysis for examining trustors’ decision processes, the technique has seen sparse use in trust research. In the sections that follow, we first discuss why conjoint analysis – a quantitative technique for studying decision making – might be useful for trust researchers. We then explain conjoint methods, classify them in relation to other decision analysis techniques, and provide examples of the relatively few trust-related conjoint studies to date. We conclude by identifying several areas where conjoint studies could contribute to knowledge in trust research. TRUST AS A DECISION...

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