Cognitive and affective trust in service relationships

Devon Johnson, Montclair State University
Kent Grayson, Northwestern University


Social psychologists conceptualize trust in a manner that differs from conceptualizations used by marketing researchers to date. Building from the social psychology literature, we posit that interpersonal trust in consumer-level service relationships has cognitive and affective dimensions. We examine the relative impact of service provider expertise, product performance, firm reputation, satisfaction, and similarity in influencing customer's perception of these dimensions of trust in a service provider. Using survey data from 349 customers of a firm of financial advisers in the United Kingdom, our results show that cognitive and affective dimensions of trust can be empirically distinguished and have both common and unique antecedents. The results also provide further clarification concerning the relationship between trust and sales effectiveness.