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.

The adjectives “objective” and “subjective” frequently precede the noun “measurement,” but all too often the terms are used without precision. Kerlinger has described objective measurements in terms of reliability. He states, “An objective procedure is one in which agreement among observers is at maximum. In variance terms, observer variance is at a minimum.”1 Therefore, an objective measurement is one in which there is reasonable intertester (interobserver) reliability. Kerlinger even describes a strategy that can be used to increase the likelihood of obtaining objective measurements.

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.