Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science In Aviation Human Factors



First Advisor

Stephen C. Rice

Second Advisor

Scott Winter

Third Advisor

Lisa Steelman


Trust has been studied across disciplines for years, with the focus looking at trust between individuals, between individuals and organizations, and between organizations (Lee & See, 2004). Establishing trust between people has been an issue for decades (Simpson, 2011), but defining it has proved difficult as well. Within the aviation industry, there has been a lack of research exploring how trust is affected from the consumer’s or passenger’s perspective. Aviation is one of the major forms of transportation in today’s culture, and understanding consumers’ trust is important for safety and economic reasons. The current study will use a 5-point Likert-type scale of trustworthiness (Rice, Mehta, Steelman, & Winter, in press) in a survey questionnaire to measure consumers’ perceived level of trust toward a pilot based on the pilot’s preference for use of a breathalyzer in the cockpit. There was a significant main effect for pilot preference and also a significant relationship between pilot preference and gender as well as pilot preference and country of origin. The participant’s perceived level of trust toward the pilot based on the pilot’s preference depended on whether the participants were male or female, and also depended on whether they were American or Indian.


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