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Gaming tasks as a method for studying the impact of warning messages on information behavior


Haddad, A and Sauer, J and Prichard, J and Spiranovic, C and Gelb, K, Gaming tasks as a method for studying the impact of warning messages on information behavior, Library Trends, 68, (4) pp. 576-598. ISSN 0024-2594 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

DOI: doi:10.1353/lib.2020.0012


New and nontraditional approaches are required to effectively tackle the global problem of cybercrime. Online warning messages offer the unique potential to influence information behavior at the exact point of user decision-making. This research assessed the prevention effect of differing components of warning messages. Thirty-five male participants, aged 1843, participated in a behavioral-compliance task comprising messages received when visiting websites likely to contain malware. Participants also rated messages on believability, severity, and effects on intention to comply. The components of messages tested were as follows: three "signal words" (warning, hazard, and stop), two levels of message explicitness (high, low), and two imagery conditions (eyes, no eyes). Contrary to expectations, explicitness was the only message component to yield a significant preventative effect on self-rated and behavioral responses. Participants not only perceived the explicit messages as more believable, severe, and likely to increase intention to comply but also demonstrated, through their behavioral-compliance data, a preventative effect from more explicit messages. The implications of these findings for designing messages to prevent cybercrimes are explored.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Cyber-crime, prevention, automated messages
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Law and humanities
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Crime prevention
UTAS Author:Haddad, A (Miss Alex Haddad)
UTAS Author:Sauer, J (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
UTAS Author:Prichard, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Prichard)
UTAS Author:Spiranovic, C (Dr Caroline Spiranovic)
ID Code:143286
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP160100601)
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2021-03-10
Last Modified:2021-04-29

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