Research Library

The world’s first globally accessible archive of research into the human aspect of cyber security and behavioural science as applied to cyber security awareness and online behavioural change.

To see the latest studies from pioneering academics, scroll down.

Reading Time: 1 minuteThis essay outlines common types of internet fraud, discusses the psychological techniques that criminals use to conduct internet fraud and proposes some counter-fraud measures, including educational and technological solutions.   Read full paper     Authors: Jonathan J. Rusch
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteThis study examined the relevance and limitations of research on the benefits of choice. The study finds that, while choice generally seems beneficial, Asian American children were, in fact, more intrinsically motivated when choices were made for them.   Read full paper     Authors: Sheena S. Iyengar and Mark R. Lepper
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteAcross four studies, East Asians showed a preference for conformity while European Americans demonstrated a preference for uniqueness. Researchers suggest the results highlight the relationship between individual preferences and the adoption and perpetuation of cultural values.   Read full paper     Authors: Heejung Kim & Hazel Rose Markus
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Reading Time: 1 minuteThe researchers review 150 studies on the difference in risk-taking behaviour between males and females, concluding that males are typically more risk-seeking than females but that the gap appears to be shrinking over time.   Read full paper     Authors: James P. Byrnes, David C. Miller, and William D. Schafer
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Reading Time: 1 minuteThis study into the risk preferences of people from various nations found Chinese people and Americans both exhibited the same appetite for risk, but that perceived risk varied greatly between the two cultures.   Read full paper     Authors: Elke U. Weber, Christopher Hsee
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteResearchers discuss theories and research on the differences in what we see and what we perceive in an effort to further study on why we don’t always perceive what we see, and why we sometimes perceive things we don’t see.   Read full paper     Authors: Arien Mack & Irvin Rock
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteResearchers identify five trust-building processes (cognitive, prediction, intentionality, capability, transference) and suggest trust is easier to build when individuals share national culture.   Read full paper     Authors: Patricia M. Doney, Joseph P. Cannon, Michael R. Mullen
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteFollowing three experiments that manipulated participants’ self-image, researchers suggest stereotyping may be a common way to maintain one’s self-image.   Read full paper     Authors: Steven Fein, Steven J. Spencer
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteThis paper reviews literature on computer-mediated communication up to its 1996 publication date, explaining that computer-mediated communication can both depreciate as well as enhance how personal a communication is.   Read full paper     Authors: Joseph B Walther
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteA robust meta-analysis of social loafing; the tendency for individuals to avoid putting effort into a task when working collectively over individually. Factors that moderate social loafing are also discussed.     Read full paper     Authors: Steven J. Karau, Kipling D. Williams
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Reading Time: 1 minuteAnomalies are decisions that are hard to justify or rationalise. This paper discusses three: the endowment effect, status quo bias and loss aversion. The endowment effect is a bias for things you own, status quo bias is a bias for the current state of affairs and loss aversion is a disproportionate bias against loss. The implications of the anomalies in economics are discussed.     Read full paper     Authors: Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch, Richard H. Thaler
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January 26, 1991

How Mental Systems Believe

Reading Time: 1 minuteThis study investigated whether believing an idea is a part of understanding an idea, or whether choosing to believe an idea is in fact a subsequent process to comprehension. Counter to conventional wisdom, it seems as though the former is the more likely of the two.   Read full paper     Authors: Daniel T. Gilbert
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteThis study looked into how the big five personality factors influenced job performance across five occupations. It found that only conscientiousness showed a consistent relationship with job performance across all five occupational groups, and that some personality factors affected job performance in some occupations but not others. The findings may help with training and recruitment.   Read full paper     Authors: Murray R. Barrick & Michael K. Mount
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteAjzen’s theory of planned behaviour suggests attitudes towards a particular behavior, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control all shape an individual’s behavioural intentions and behaviours. This study reviews literature concerning the theory and provides empirical evidence supporting the theory.   Read full paper     Authors: Icek Ajzen
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Reading Time: 1 minuteIn the past several years, a number of researchers have raised the issue of the level of security concern among system users, suggesting that security may be undervalued in both centralized and decentralized IS departments, and among IS staff as well as end-users. Since protective measures often require significant managerial vigilance, an appropriate level of awareness and concern may be a prerequisite for adequate security protection. Given its importance, there is a need for a better understanding of what leads to security concern. This paper focuses on users’ perceptions about the security of their systems. Based on previous work on individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about IS and IS environments, it is hypothesized that a user’s concern about
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Reading Time: 1 minuteThis article compares the experiences of white collar and violent crime victims. It finds victims of white collar crime tend to be older, more affluent and relatively more likely to be female than victim crime; it finds generalised anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder are the most common psychiatric complications of both types of victims; and it finds social support to be a good indicator of recovery for victims of violent crime.   Read full paper     Authors: Linda Ganzini, MD; Bentson McFarland, MD, PhD; and Joseph Bloom, MD
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteResearchers designed two studies to test three components of commitment to an organisation: affective commitment (ie, emotional attachment); continuance (ie, the costs of leaving); and normative (ie, feelings of obligation). They found affective and continuance components to be unrelated, whereas affective and normative components seemed to be inter-related.   Read full paper     Authors: Natalie J. Allen, John P. Meyer
 
Reading Time: 1 minuteAn extensive book summarising many different strategies for influencing people’s behaviour, looking at conformity and compliance. Examples include consistency and reciprocity, amongst others.     Read full paper     Authors: Robert B. Cialdini
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Reading Time: 1 minuteThis article reviews research on fear appeals before revising protection motivation theory based on the authors’ literature review.   Read full paper     Authors: Ronald W. Rogers
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January 9, 1982

The Need for Cognition

Reading Time: 1 minuteThis paper discusses four studies that allowed the authors to develop and validate a scale measuring an individual’s ‘need for cognition’ (that is, an indivdual’s tendency to engage in thinking and enjoy the practice of thinking things through). Notably, the studies revealed a positive correlation between need for cognition and general intelligence.   Read full paper     Authors: John T. Cacioppo, Richard E. Petty