Susan Street

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Two Agent-Based Models of Trust in Social Networks

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

How do we develop trust in institutions or services we rely on, or even for people whom we know very little about? To explore this question, Ms Street examined people’s behaviour when bidding for items on the internet auction site, Trade Me. She analysed trusting behaviour in this naturalistic context by means of agent-based modelling, which simulates the actions and interactions of autonomous individuals—the agents--with a view to assessing their effects on a system as a whole. She found that traders attempted to find an effective strategy for evaluating other people’s trustworthiness by adopting the strategies of more successful traders. However these strategies tend to restrict unreliable traders rather than to uncover dishonest ones. Ms. Street concluded that this was a valuable new approach for analysing very complex patterns of social behaviour.

Supervisors
Professor Ian Evans
Dr Linda Jones
Dr Stephen Hill

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