Publication Details

Bewsell, G. R. (2012). Distrust, fear and emotional learning: An online auction perspective. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 7 (2), 1-12.


This exploratory research explores the emotional perspective of online distrust, where distrust is a fear. Fear is one of the negative emotions where the situational state is motive-inconsistent and uncertainty is present. A review of literature explores distrust as a fear, emotions, emotional learning and identifies cognitive dimensions consistent with fear. These cognitive dimensions are motive-inconsistent situational state, uncertainty, goal-path obstacle, effort, and agency/control. Textual data is collected from an online auction community website to support this research. The dimensions consistent with fear are identified within the data collected and analyzed using qualitative analysis. Goal-path obstacles are identified within the data as; value incongruence, user isolation, user inefficacy, and financial. The goal-path obstacles identified are consistent with types of fear. The research findings are discussed in terms of the theory and offers suggestions to practitioners to improve the design of online auctions by reducing the effects of fear and emotional learning.



Link to publisher version (DOI)