To show empirically that online trust is associated with activity changes in certain brain areas, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a laboratory experiment, we captured the brain activity of 10 female and 10 male participants simultaneous to decisions on trustworthiness of eBay offers. We found that most of the brain areas that encode trustworthiness differ between women and men. Moreover, we found that women activated more brain areas than did men. These results confirm the empathizing– systemizing theory, which predicts gender differences in neural information processing modes.
In demonstrating that perceived trustworthiness of Internet offers is affected by neurobiology, our study has major implications for both IS research and management. We confirm the value of a category of research heretofore neglected in IS research and practice, and argue that future IS research investigating human behavior should consider the role of biological factors. In practice, biological factors are a significant consideration for management, marketing, and engineering attempts to influence behavior.
|Author||René Riedl, Marco Hubert, and Peter Kenning|
|Keywords||Online trust, trustworthiness, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), gender, eBay|