Group behavior in social media: Antecedents of initial trust formation

Mahmud A. Shareef, Kawaljeet K. Kapoor, Bhasker Mukerji, Rohita Dwivedi, Yogesh K. Dwivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the influence of antecedents of user trust amongst peers on social media platforms that they apply without sufficient cognitive judgment. Based on extensive literature review and analysis of social theories, we propose a theoretical framework for social media trust (SMT). Based on the SMT model, we conduct empirical analysis using structural equation modeling to verify the cause-effect relationships hypothesized in this study. The findings reveal that initial formation of SMT relies on five predictors - fulfilled expectations, predictability, familiarity, monitor, and norms. These findings have significant theoretical and practical implications. The study finds that peers are likely to invest blind faith in the content shared on social media groups without subjecting it to verification. It also identifies the threat of biased peers, who spread irresponsible content with predetermined motives to influence members of certain social media groups. Policymakers can use insights from this study to highlight the ills of non-verification, and its potential to cause harm at the very extreme.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106225
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date24 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


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