Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Sarah Talboom


Personal Description

The Internet opens tremendous opportunities for informed decision-making. You can sift through reviews leading up to buying a specific consumer good. When feeling ill, you might quickly enter the symptoms online before seeing a physician. You can even actively reach out to others via all sorts of online communities. But what makes someone willing to follow up the advice of people they have never met? Within my research, I am curious to see how trust emerges in online – rather anonymous – environments. However, instead of merely tackling trust as a psychological issue that can be mapped, I approach this question from a discursive psychological perspective. What do people do when they claim trust?

In 2014, I have been awarded the best student paper award at the annual IFIP WG 11.11 International Conference on Trust Management, where I participated with a paper on the potential of a discursive approach in trust research. Two years later, I co-organized a panel session at IFIPTM16, in which we tried to pinpoint some of the disciplinary influences in the Trust Management domain. In 2007 I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Communication Management at Thomas More, followed by a master’s degree in Communication Studies at VUB in 2009. Since 2010 I joined imec-SMIT-VUB as a PhD student, while also working as a teaching assistant at the department of Communication Studies.