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.

How mental systems believe

This 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.  

This 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.  

The theory of planned behavior

Ajzen’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.  

In 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

This 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.  

Researchers 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.  

Perception of risk

Studies of risk perception examine the judgements people make when they are asked to characterize and evaluate hazardous activities and technologies. This research aims to aid risk analysis and policy-making by providing a basis for understanding and anticipating public responses to hazards and improving the communication of risk information among lay people, technical experts, and decision-makers. This work assumes that those who promote and regulate health and safety need to understand how people think about and respond to risk. Without such understanding, well-intended policies may be ineffective.

An extensive book summarising many different strategies for influencing people’s behaviour, looking at conformity and compliance. Examples include consistency and reciprocity, amongst others.  

This article reviews research on fear appeals before revising protection motivation theory based on the authors’ literature review.    

The need for cognition

This 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.  

People are often faced with making judgements base on what they believe will happen. This paper proposes said beliefs are largely born from heuristics, including representativeness, availability and anchoring.  

This paper presents a group process for conducting an exploration of the qualitative and quantitative elements, patterns and total structure of a health care problem under preliminary investigation. Reasons for employing the nominal group process as a pilot research instrument are given. The authors emphasize that it is appropriate for some problems but not for others.

According to this paper, the only way to motivate the employee is to give him or her challenging work and the responsibility for its completion. As carrot and stick methods – such as financial incentives or disciplinaries – are examples of neither, they should be overlooked in favour of job enrichment.  

This paper discusses habituation; the process of having a decrease in response to a stimulus that is repeatedly presented to an individual. Factors that influence habituation are discussed, as is the neurobiology associated with the concept.    

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram tests human obedience through an experiment which sees some participants instructed to inflict pain on fellow participants.  

Edgar H. Schein defines organizational culture & leadership, explains how the two are intertwined and offers advice on triggering cultural change, making his text relevant for those wishing to implement a cyber secure culture.  


This paper discusses three distinct concepts related to habits: the differences between habitual and non-habitual states of consciousness; a hierarchy of habits; and the development of habits which depends on repetition, attention, intensity of the experience, and the plasticity of the nervous system.