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A Cognitive Map of People's Online Risk Perceptions and Attitudes: An Empirical Study

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2 Author(s)
Gabriel, I.J. ; Southeastern Univ., Washington ; Nyshadham, E.

This research studied online risk perceptions under the well known psychometric paradigm. We developed a taxonomy of risks appropriate for e-commerce along with variables to characterize risks and understand risk perceptions. A pilot study with 153 subjects was used to collect data on which factor analysis was conducted to identify online risk dimensions and produce a factor space diagram. This diagram represents a "cognitive map" of people's online risk perceptions and attitudes. Results suggested that subjects distinguish risks using four dimensions: direness of consequences, ability to control or avoid risks, observability/immediacy of risk consequences, and unfamiliarity of risks. A larger study is underway based on the results of the pilot study. The findings of this research study help researchers to understand and predict people's reaction to risks posed by online hazards. In addition, this study attempted to transfer a proven and popular methodology of risk perception research, the psychometric paradigm, to a new domain, e-commerce. Moreover, this study added empirical data regarding online risk perceptions to the existing body of the relevant academic research.

Published in:

Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Proceedings of the 41st Annual

Date of Conference:

7-10 Jan. 2008