Escalent Decodes Trust in Technology to Help Brands Build Stronger Bonds With People

October 18, 2022

Behavioral science-based framework measures trust in technology, key predictors to increase consumer trust.

Escalent, an award-winning human behavior analytics and advisory firm, has cracked the code on the complex topic of trust in technology and how brands can effectively build consumer trust in technology that fuels the products, services and experiences that make the world work better for people.

Recognizing the complexity and importance of trust in technology, Escalent created Tech TrustBuilder™, a solution that simplifies the complex topic of trust of technology into approachable, measurable and addressable insights for brands to engage with consumers, with application across nearly all industries. A scientifically validated framework—based on behavioral science principles, advanced data analyses, and extensive academic literary review of trust and technology—Tech TrustBuilder breaks down technology trust into three components: competency, process and intent.

Specifically, Tech TrustBuilder uses a series of proprietary questions to assess:

  • Competency: Perceptions of the technology’s ability.
  • Process: The way in which the technology accomplishes its goal.
  • Intent: The technology’s ultimate purpose.

As a leader in the Automotive & Mobility industry, Escalent leveraged the new tool in an ongoing study of consumer trust in autonomous vehicles (AV) the company launched four years ago. The Tech TrustBuilder findings revealed consumers’ trust of AV technology received a score of 50 on a 100-point scale. With the supporting context from previous years of research, this indicates consumer trust in the technology has plateaued, and further trust-building would require significant additional efforts by automakers.

Additionally, Escalent uncovered clear, consistent differences between consumers who have high versus low trust in the technology. Examining respondents’ ratings of AV tech trust related to competency, process and intent, the study revealed competency impacts trust the most at 47%, process at 32% and intent at 21%. Thus, the Tech TrustBuilder tool distinguished the influence among these three separate factors—providing decision-makers with crucial insights about the different elements of trust and where to direct their efforts for the most impact.

“Technology that is designed to make the world better can be effective only when people believe it can be trusted,” said Gwen Ishmael, senior vice president and head of Escalent’s Human Experience Center of Excellence. “Tech TrustBuilder not only helps brands understand whether people trust a specific technology, it also reveals what needs to be done to gain that trust and promote adoption.”

Tech TrustBuilder uses key driver analysis to provide a granular, diagnostic understanding of trust. Brands can use the resulting insights as a foundation for technology benchmarking, investment prioritization, product development initiatives, and activities designed to increase use and persuade trial.

To learn more about Tech TrustBuilder, click the button below to send us a note. 

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About Tech TrustBuilder™

Escalent interviewed a national sample of approximately 4,300 consumers age 18 and older from August 2021 to January 2022. Respondents were recruited from the Dynata opt-in online panel of US adults and interviewed online. Quotas were put in place to achieve a sample of age, gender, income and ethnicity that matches the demographics of the US population. The data have a margin of error of one percentage point at a confidence level of 95%. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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