The role of psychology in understanding online trust

Across many online contexts, internet users are required to make judgments of trustworthiness in the systems or other users that they are connecting with. But how can a user know that the interactions they engage in are legitimate? In cases where trust is manipulated, there can be severe consequences for the user both economically and psychologically. In this chapter, the authors outline key psychological literature to date that has addressed the question of how trust develops in online environments. Specifically, three use cases in which trust relationships emerge are discussed: crowdfunding, online health forums, and online dating. By including examples of different types of online interaction, the authors aim to demonstrate the need for advanced security measures that ensure valid trust judgments and minimise the risk of fraud victimisation.