Oxford Brookes Business School

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  • Anna Rozumowski

    PhD: Evaluating trust based on impression formation in business Encounters


    Oxford Brookes Business School

    Anna Rozumowski

    Mode of StudyPart-Time
    SupervisorsJanine Dermody, Robert van der Veen
    Research AbstractThe model of trust depicts that trust has two principal components – competence and affinity. When two people meet for the first time, their first concern is if the other person has a good or bad intent. The second concern is if the person is capable to enact his/her intent. Thus, warmth judgements are made to assess if and how much we can trust another person. Competence judgements are made to evaluate the other’s ability to enact their intentions. This can also be transferred to business encounters, as a salesperson’s cues have an impact on a buyer’s judgment of salespersons’ likeability and expertise. This, in turn, is relevant for trust assessments during an initial sales encounter, which have an impact on purchase intentions. Trust is strongly associated with our emotional channels, thus, people automatically make their trust assessments according to first impressions. Forming first impressions and primary judgements of others are often made fast and unconsciously. Moreover, people refer and trust the familiar when forming an impression. Many authors agree that warmth and competence are the most important dimensions of social judgements. However, scientists have not yet reached an agreement on the individual influence on trust. Therefore, the question remains, how trust based on impression formation can be enhanced or undermined in business encounters.