Formalized qualitative modeling of online trust: Introduction of the method and a detailed example

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Technická univerzita v Liberci
The paper presents a simple qualitative model of online trust in the context of e-commerce. Qualitative models use just three values: Positive/Increasing, Zero/Constant and Negative/ Decreasing. Such quantiers of trends are the least information intensive. Qualitative models can be useful, since models of online trust include such variables as e.g. Perceived website quality and ease of use (SIT) or Company’s positive reputation (REP) that are sometimes difcult or costly to quantify. Hence, a signicant fraction of available information about online trust is not of numerical nature, e.g. if SIT is decreasing then online trust is decreasing as well. Such equationless relations are studied in this paper. The model has 13 variables and 32 pair-wise interrelations among them. The set of variables and interrelations was established based on discussions with experts and internet users. The model is solved and 23 solutions, i.e. scenarios are obtained (thus, we reduce a vast set of all “imaginable” scenarios concerning online trust to a manageable list of scenarios). All qualitative states, and the rst and second qualitative derivatives of all variables are specied for each scenario. Many modications, upgrades and extensions of the present model are easy within the methodological framework introduced in the paper. Qualitative modeling can be seen as one of the uncertainty calculi, such as fuzzy sets and rough sets, that can be helpful e.g. under information shortage (for example when new website is about to be launched and/or when novel, subjective or difcult to measure variables are considered). The paper is self-contained and no a priori knowledge of qualitative modeling is required on the reader’s part.
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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