Mediated behavioural change in human-machine networks: exploring network characteristics, trust and motivation

Paul Walland, J. Brian Pickering

Human-machine networks pervade much of contemporary life. Network change is the product of structural modifications along with differences in participant be-havior. If we assume that behavioural change in a human-machine network is the result of changing the attitudes of participants in the network, then the question arises whether network structure can affect participant attitude. Taking citizen par-ticipation as an example, engagement with relevant stakeholders reveals trust and motivation to be the major objectives for the network. Using a typology to de-scribe network state based on multiple characteristic or dimensions, we can pre-dict possible behavioural outcomes in the network. However, this has to be medi-ated via attitude change. Motivation for the citizen participation network can only increase in line with enhanced trust. The focus for changing network dynamics, therefore, shifts to the dimensional changes needed to encourage increased trust. It turns out that the coordinated manipulation of multiple dimensions is needed to bring about the desired shift in attitude.

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