Emotional reactions on cybersecurity breach situations: A Scenario-based Survey Study

Sanja Budimir, Johnny Fontaine, Nicole M.A. Huijts, Antal Haans, George Loukas, Etienne Roesch

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Background: With the ever-expanding interconnectedness through internet, and especially with the recent development of the Internet of Things (IoT), people are increasingly at risk for cybersecurity breaches that can have far-reaching consequences for one’s personal and professional lives, with psychological and mental health ramifications. Objective: We aim to identify the dimensional structure of emotion processes triggered by one of the most emblematic scenarios of cybersecurity breach, the hacking of one’s smart security camera, and to explore which personality characteristics systematically relate to these emotion dimensions. Methods: A total of 902 participants from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands reported their emotion processes triggered by a cybersecurity breach scenario. Moreover, they reported on their big five personality traits, as well as on key indicators for resilient, over-controlling (internalizing problems), and under-controlling (aggression) personality types. Results: Principal component analyses revealed a robust three-dimensional structure of emotion processes: emotional intensity, proactive vs fight/flight reactions and affective vs cognitive/motivational reactions. Regression analyses revealed that more internalizing problems (β = .33, p < .001), resilience (β = .22, P < .001), and agreeableness (β = .12, P < .001), and less emotional stability (β = -.25, P < .001) have significant predictive value for higher emotional intensity. More internalizing problems (β = .26, P < .001), aggression (β = .25, P < .001), extraversion (β = .07, p = .01) and less resilience (β = -.XX, P < .001), agreeableness (β = -.34, P < .001), consciousness (β = -.19, P < .001), and openness (β = -.22, P < .001) have significant predictive value for comparatively more fight/flight than proactive reactions. Less internalizing problems (β = -.32, P < .001), and more emotional stability (β = .14, P < .001) and aggression (β = .13, P < .001) have significant predictive value for a comparatively higher salience for cognitive/motivational than affective reactions. Conclusions: To adequately describe the emotion processes triggered by a cybersecurity breach two more dimensions are needed over and above the general negative affectivity dimension. This multidimensional structure is further supported by the differential relationships of the emotion dimensions with personality characteristics. The discovered emotion structure allows for consistent predictions about who is at risk to develop long-term mental well-being issues due to the cybersecurity breach experience.
Originele taal-2Engels
TijdschriftJournal of Medical Internet Research
Nummer van het tijdschriftXX
StatusGeaccepteerd/In druk - 17 mrt 2021

Vingerafdruk Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Emotional reactions on cybersecurity breach situations: A Scenario-based Survey Study'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit