Researchers have long speculated about the distinction between trust and distrust, yet the majority of studies on trust have treated them as essentially the same construct on opposite ends of a continuum. In order to resolve this ambiguity, we propose a theoretical framework to investigate the antecedents and influences of trust and distrust in the online shopping context, relying on the literature of website design and consumer trust, ambivalence theories, as well as emerging studies on distrust in the work place. Our findings indicate that trust and distrust are two separate concepts by reason of their distinct cognitions, different antecedents and different influences on consequent outcomes. In particular, the results show that specific website design attributes have distinct effects on shaping consumers' trust and distrust. These findings suggest new ways in which website attributes can be fine-tuned by website designers and managers. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.