Trust Needs Touch: Understanding the Building of Trust through Social Presence

Walter N, Ortbach K, Niehaves B, Becker J

Trust is gaining in importance in today's digital world where interactions become more and more impersonal. In this context, many studies show that social presence, i.e. the feeling of human contact, has a positive effect on the formation of trust. However, the theoretical explanation of the relationship is still somewhat unexplored in the IS domain. In this study, we draw on psychology literature and derive a comprehensive framework to conceptualize and explain the relationship in detail. Particularly, we identify four mechanisms that were not yet explicated by IS research. Using the developed framework as a structuring device, we then carry out a structured literature review in the IS domain to identify existing studies and their theoretical focus as well as to point out research gaps. We are able to show that there is much more to the relationship between social presence and trust than the IS domain has yet recognized.

Social Presence; Social Cues; Online Trust; Literature Review

Publication type
Forschungsartikel in Sammelband (Konferenz)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


Proceedings of the 19th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2013)

Chicago, USA