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Cue utilization, phishing feature and phishing email detection

Cognitive processes are broadly considered to be of vital importance to understanding phishing email feature detection or misidentification. This research extends the current literature by introducing the concept of cue utilization as a unique predictor of phishing feature detection. First year psychology students (n=127) undertook three tasks measuring cue utilization, phishing feature detection and phishing email detection. A multiple linear regression model provided evidence that those in a higher cue utilization typology (n=55) performed better at identifying phishing features than those in a lower cue utilization typology
(n=72). Furthermore, as predicted by the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) and Heuristic-Systematic Model (HSM), those who deliberated longer per email demonstrated an increased ability to correctly identify phishing features. However, these results did not translate into improved performance in the phishing email detection task. Possible explanations for these results are discussed, including possible limitations and areas of future research.

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