Tiwala Lang A Study on Online Trust and Offline Self-disclosure in the Filipino Couchsurfing Community

“Tiwala lang”: A Study on Online Trust and Offline Self-disclosure in the Filipino Couchsurfing Community

Manalo, M. (2016). “Tiwala lang”: A Study on Online Trust and Offline Self-disclosure in the Filipino Couchsurfing Community, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This study aimed to understand how trust built online translates into offline Couchsurfing interactions. An integration of three theories, Mayer et al.’s Model of Trust (1995), Bailey et al.’s Model of Attribution of Trust in Computer-Mediated Exchange (2011), and Social Penetration Theory, was employed to understand online trust building and trust behavior of the Filipino Couchsurfer respondents and informants, their risk perception, and self-disclosure behavior during offline interactions. Data gathering was done through an online survey and focus interviews of Filipino Couchsurfers. Findings suggest that respondents and informants attribute a high level of trust towards their Couchsurfing.com exchange partner and perceive Couchsurfing-related risks as unlikely to happen. Following Mayer et al.’s model, this leads to risk-taking behavior, with offline Couchsurfing interactions as the outcome. During offline interactions, the Filipino Couchsurfers in the study generally disclose about “Attitudes and Opinions”, “Tastes and Interests”, and “Work (or studies)”, aside from travel-related topics. The respondents generally have non-personal disclosures, while the informants expressed that they reveal very intimate details towards their guest/host especially as their relationship progresses. Finally, consistent with related literature, findings suggest that higher levels of trust is linked to higher levels of self-disclosure, both in breadth and depth.

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