John D. Lee and Katrina A. See
Computer technology is pervasive and often problematic, and the sociological construct of trust has emerged as an important intervening variable to describe reliance on technology. Trust is an important mechanism for coping with the cognitive complexity that accompanies increasingly sophisticated technology. Because of this, understanding trust can help explain reliance on technology and human performance in complex systems. This review characterizes trust by summarizing organizational, sociological, interpersonal, and neurological perspectives. These perspectives provide a clear definition of trust, account of how individual differences influence trust, and describe how characteristics of technology affect trust. A conceptual model integrates these findings and highlights the importance of closed-loop dynamics, the role of context, and the influence of display characteristics. This model has important implications for how systems should be designed to calibrate trust and encourage appropriate reliance. Design and evaluation of technologically intensive systems should consider the calibration of trust if they are to be effective. The growing cognitive complexity that accompanies computer-mediated collaboration and multi- agent automation makes understanding trust increasingly important.