Trust in Online Search Results During Uncertain Times

Ashley M. Peterson, Andrew C. High, Raven Maragh-Lloyd, Ryan Stoldt, Brian Ekdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Drawing from the layer model of trust, this study examines what factors influence the perceived quality of search results. Participants (N = 256) conducted searches about current events and evaluated the quality of the results they received along with their trust in technology and attitudes toward the search topic. Consistent with the layer model of trust, people’s propensity to trust technology corresponded with greater perceptions of search quality, though the effect through people’s belief in Google’s search algorithm was stronger. Overall, increasingly specific assessments of layers of technology help explain why people evaluate search results to vary in quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-771
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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