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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Effect of Negativity Bias on Trust in the Adoption of Innovations: A Longitudinal Study.

Published: May 28, 2019


Darius-Aurel Frank, Aarhus University; Polymeros Chrysochou, Aarhus University; Panagiotis Mitkidis, Aarhus University


negativity bias; trust; innovation adoption


Building trust prior to release of an innovation is a challenge for companies, because of external influences on trust that may not be fully controlled. In an experimental, longitudinal study, this research aims to quantify the effect of negatively (vs. positively) skewed pre-release information on individual’s trust and subsequent adoption of the innovation. It further seeks to determine how this effect changes both over time, and from before to after the innovation adoption. Results show that individuals consistently exhibit lower scores in trust in the technology after being exposed to the negatively (relative to positively) skewed information. In turn, positively skewed information does not appear statistically different form the control condition, in which no additional information was shown. We explain this effect with negativity bias. Implications and ways for companies to address the challenge of negative pre-release information are discussed.