The field of psychology holds the view that trust is a perso...

The field of psychology holds the view that trust is a personality based trait, which is a deep rooted feeling or belief that is shaped by the individual’s life experiences. These life experiences mould the individual’s disposition to form trust in general (as seen in McKnight and Chervany (2002)) and is commonly referred to as Dispositional Trust.

In stark contrast, sociology holds the view that trust is a social structure which is situationally constructed. Lewis and Weigert (1985) describes trust as being “applicable to the relations among people rather than to their psychological states taken individually” and therefore theorise that trust does not exist in the individual, but rather is the collective property of the groups involved. In the electronic commerce context this dimension has been labelled as Institutional Trust.

The social psychology perspective offers another view, which presents trust in terms of the expectations and willingness of one party in regards to another, as well as the associated risks this brings along with it (Lee and Turban, 2001). This perspective focuses on forming trust in another specific party and is often referred to as Interpersonal Trust.

Dispositional trust refers to an individual’s ability and willingness to form trust in general. This dimension is driven by the field of psychology, which describes dispositional trust as a personality trait that is formed through an individual’s lifetime. Interpersonal Trust focuses on the trust formed in another specific party. e.g. the assessment by the consumer in regards to the trustworthiness of the electronic vendor. Institutional trust is how much the individual trusts the system (e.g. the internet, or some other larger concept) as a whole.