Research Topic

Individual Differences and User Trust in Automation and Autonomous Systems

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Automation and Autonomous systems have become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Moreover, the use of automation and autonomy in marketing, military, education, and various other domains has increased the notion of collaborative autonomous agents which may someday have both the authority and capability ...

Automation and Autonomous systems have become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Moreover, the use of automation and autonomy in marketing, military, education, and various other domains has increased the notion of collaborative autonomous agents which may someday have both the authority and capability to act autonomously. In tandem with this backdrop, research in Human Factors Psychology and Human Factors Engineering have begun to explicate the underlying psychological processes that facilitate people’s trust in automation and autonomous systems. However, research to date has predominantly focused on the task or situation rather than exploring the individual differences that influence user trust and trust perception. This is despite that individual differences such as personality, experience with automation, and age, to name a few, may have a role in the trust process and people’s reliance on these systems.

The purpose of this Research Topic is to explore individual difference variables that influence the trust process in automation and/or autonomous systems. Our focus is specifically focused on how individual differences relate to trust perceptions (i.e. trustworthiness of the system), trust intentions (i.e. willingness to rely on the system), and trust behaviors (i.e. actual reliance behaviors in regards in the system). Thus, this Research Topic explores the role of individual differences in human-machine teaming and acknowledges that a critical goal of future systems will be to enable effective teaming between humans and automation and/or intelligent machines. We also foreground how, as research progresses in the field of Human Factors Psychology/Engineering, a focus on individual differences will become imperative to understanding any variance accounted for by the individual, including intercept variance and cognitive framing of the situation/environment.

We welcome papers that attempt to address the theoretical and empirical short comings in the topic of individual differences and trust perceptions in automation and autonomous systems. Contributions that develop and/or test a theory of personality in regards to the trust in automation/autonomous systems process are highly encouraged. Key questions in this Research Topic include, but not are not limited to, the following:
• What aspects of personality influence the trust process? (NOTE: This should not be limited solely to trait trust, but may also include other personality traits that are related to the trust process)
• What malleable individual differences influence the trust process? (e.g., familiarity with the system, familiarity with the task, specific training, etc.)
• What are the underlying processes of individual differences and how do they influence trust cognitions and behaviors?


Keywords: Trust Perceptions, Personality, Automation/Autonomous Systems, Reliance, Human-Machine Teaming


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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