Coye Cheshire

Coye Cheshire



Trust, social exchange, social psychology, and information exchange


Professor Cheshire is professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information. He studies social exchange, cooperation, trust, and interpersonal relationships in computer-mediated environments. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University, and M.A. and B.A. in sociology from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively.

Computer-mediated environments often prevent us from using the social cues that we rely on in other forms of offline social interaction. As a result, online social interactions provide a unique and fascinating setting for studying social phenomena in the presence of socio-technical constraints and affordances. Professor Cheshire is a technology advocate and information technology enthusiast, so his attraction to sociology, social psychology, the Internet, new media, and computer-mediated communication became a natural blend of his personal and professional pursuits.

Current Research

I am interested in the social aspects of computer networks and information exchange systems, including risk, uncertainty, trust, and cooperation. My current research projects include a series of lab experiments examining shifts in modes of social exchange (in the US and across societies), a longitudinal study of Wikipedia editors and their motivations for contributing effort over time, a longitudinal study of online romantic relationships, and the application of social psychological selective incentives to different Internet collective action problems. I strongly believe in using different (and sometimes mixed) methodological approaches to address complex research problems, including laboratory and field experiments, longitudinal and cross-sectional survey analysis, online behavioral log analysis, and in-depth qualitative interviews.


B.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997
M.A., Sociology, Stanford University, 1998
Ph.D., Sociology, Stanford University, 2005

What is the best thing about working at the I School?
One of the most exciting and rewarding things about our program is its multi-disciplinary nature. I love the fact that faculty and students are continually exposed to new, cutting-edge research that spans the social, technical, theoretical, and practical dimensions of information and information technology.

Something few people know about me
I know little to nothing about sports. Despite my best efforts to hide this fact, my cover was once blown when I sincerely congratulated my graduate school advisor’s son for throwing several successful ‘interceptions’ during a high school football game.

Last updated:

April 1, 2020