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“Social credit effect” in a sharing economy: A theory of mind and prisoner's dilemma game theory perspective on the two‐way review and rating system

Abstract Using random samples, we conducted three studies to explore the relationships among interpersonal mentalizing in predicting future sharing economy service usage. The primary focus of this research was to examine Uber passengers' theory of mind in a broader theoretical base of human abilities. The results confirm the dimensions of interpersonal mentalizing such as their experience with the sharing economy service and their current star ratings from the Uber driver. In addition, this study confirms that the dimensions of interpersonal mentalizing are dependent on the situation and the ratings they received from the Uber driver. In extreme rating situations (1‐star rating), interpersonal dimensions did not have an effect on their negative beliefs about the two‐way evaluation system. However, with moderate (3‐star) and high ratings (4.75 and above star rating), the interpersonal dimensions such as nonverbal cues and the ability to shape behaviors and interactions serve as determinants of Uber passengers' belief in the evaluation system, which then leads to their future usage of the sharing economy services. In sum, these findings shed light on the complementary role of the autonomous abilities of Uber passengers to improve their star ratings, which then leads to their future usage of sharing economy services.

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