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HOW INTERPERSONAL TRUST MANIFESTS ONLINE BEHAVIOR: A case study exploring the impact of societal levels of interpersonal trust on the utilization of online source credible information.
Unformatted Document Text:  How interpersonal trust manifests 13 (Johnson, 2001). For every positive comment from a buyer the seller is awarded 1 point to his feedback ratings; for every negative comment from a buyer the sellers ratings are reduced by 1 point; and for every neutral comment no points are added or subtracted. Though a single person can leave multiple comments, they cannot affect the sellers rating more than once. As an incentive for achieving high positive ratings, eBay awards colored ‘star’ icons to sellers based on their cumulative rating points. These icons are prominently placed next to the sellers email addresses on the auction sale page. Sellers achieving a rating of between 10 and 99 are awarded a yellow star, between 100 and 499 a turquoise star, between 500 and 999 a purple star, between 1000 and 9999 a red star, and a shooting star symbolizes a rating of 10000 or higher. Lastly, eBay encourages buyers to constantly check seller ratings and leave feedback, while bidding for any product on its site. Not much is known about the impact of these seller-rating points on bidders choice in online auctions (Lucking-Reiley, 2000). The impact of these seller-rating points on bidder decision-making is the focus of this study. Research Questions The first part of the study examines the impact of seller rating on bidder choice, and poses the following research question: RQ1. What is the impact of seller rating on the number of bidders attracted to an auction? The interplay between interpersonal trust and seller rating is the other aspect this study explores. The previous section examined the perspectives on interpersonal trust, source credible rating points, and online auctions. The level of

Authors: Vishwanath, Arun.
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How interpersonal trust manifests 13
(Johnson, 2001). For every positive comment from a buyer the seller is awarded 1
point to his feedback ratings; for every negative comment from a buyer the sellers
ratings are reduced by 1 point; and for every neutral comment no points are added
or subtracted. Though a single person can leave multiple comments, they cannot
affect the sellers rating more than once. As an incentive for achieving high
positive ratings, eBay awards colored ‘star’ icons to sellers based on their
cumulative rating points. These icons are prominently placed next to the sellers
email addresses on the auction sale page. Sellers achieving a rating of between 10
and 99 are awarded a yellow star, between 100 and 499 a turquoise star, between
500 and 999 a purple star, between 1000 and 9999 a red star, and a shooting star
symbolizes a rating of 10000 or higher. Lastly, eBay encourages buyers to
constantly check seller ratings and leave feedback, while bidding for any product
on its site. Not much is known about the impact of these seller-rating points on
bidders choice in online auctions (Lucking-Reiley, 2000). The impact of these
seller-rating points on bidder decision-making is the focus of this study.
Research Questions
The first part of the study examines the impact of seller rating on bidder
choice, and poses the following research question:
RQ1. What is the impact of seller rating on the number of bidders
attracted to an auction?
The interplay between interpersonal trust and seller rating is the other
aspect this study explores. The previous section examined the perspectives on
interpersonal trust, source credible rating points, and online auctions. The level of


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