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Most people think e-signatures are 'artificial and robotic'
Monday January 12, 2015 2:56 PM, IANS

People trust e-signatures significantly less than traditional hand signatures, finds a study, adding that most of them treat e-signatures as "artificial and robotic".

Eileen Chou, assistant professor from University of Virginia, found that while e-signatures and hand signatures share the same objective function, documents signed electronically evoke strikingly different -- and significantly more negative -- psychological reactions.

"People don't trust the value of e-signatures, citing as their main reason the sense that e-signers were less involved and committed," she was quoted as saying in a LiveScience report.

During the study, she randomly assigned participants to review a travel reimbursement, mortgage application, or leasing contract that had been signed either by hand or electronically.

They included four types of e-signatures in common use: PIN, avatar, checked box or software-generated signature.

The results showed that reviewers found these common types of e-signatures to be less convincing and trustworthy than traditional hand signatures.

However, software-generated signatures fared better than the others types of e-signatures, the author noted.

The paper appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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