Date of Award

4-13-2014

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Communication

First Advisor

Daniel C. Davis

Second Advisor

Sandra M. Metts

Abstract

Couchsurfing is a website community allowing members to offer and receive travel accommodations, with members, typically connecting online before meeting offline. Risky behaviors associated with Couchsurfing require members to have great amounts of trust for the other parties involved. Because trust can be achieved through uncertainty reduction and considering the predicted outcome value, the present study seeks to determine how members seek information online in order to trust other members. An online questionnaire was circulated to Couchsurfing hosts to report about what website features provide the most essential information to trust other members and, within those features, what additionally members look for to build trust. Within each of the website features, essentiality was determined for specific communicative aspects of each feature. Findings indicated that the website features hosts rely on most when making decisions to accept or reject a request are the references and request message. Qualitative responses elaborated on and clarified quantitative findings.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Cherney_ilstu_0092N_10235.pdf

Page Count

160

Included in

Communication Commons

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