Effects of rational and social appeals of online recommendation agents on cognition- and affect-based trust

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
Journal / PublicationDecision Support Systems
Online published2 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


Online product recommendation agents (RAs) utilize rational and social appeals to enhance their persuasive power. However, the underlying mechanisms of how these various appeals work are still not clear. In this study, a laboratory experiment was conducted to examine the differential effects of explanation facilities and avatar interfaces as instances of rational and social appeals, respectively. We investigated (1) the effects of these appeals on cognition- and affect-based trust, and (2) the distinct persuasive outcomes of cognition- and affect-based trust.

The results show that explanation facilities significantly enhance users' cognition-based trust. Meanwhile, avatar interfaces have a significant positive impact on users' affect-based trust, but only for those who rate the avatar as highly professional. Besides, our findings attest to the fact that cognition-based trust mainly delivers the utilitarian value (perceived usefulness), while affect-based trust mainly contribute to the hedonic value (perceived enjoyment) of using a RA.

Research Area(s)

  • Recommendation agent, Explanation, Avatar, Trust, Cognitio, Affect