Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael Coovert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Walter Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chad Dube, Ph.D.


cyber risk, cyber safety, cybersecurity, information security


Information security is of vital importance to organizations. Breaches in security very often stem from behaviors of the system operator. Cyber misbehaviors on the part of employees can have devastating repercussions on the well-being of an organization. Up to now, research has mainly focused on how to protect information systems from outside attack, and only recently have researchers turned to the part the operator plays in keeping the systems safe. The present study investigated some individual differences that may play a role in people’s cyber behavior. The purpose of the study was to determine if locus of control was related to an individual’s perception of cyber risk and likelihood of engaging in cyber misbehaviors. Internal locus of control was found to be associated with higher perception of cyber risk, and higher cyber risk perception was found to lead to fewer cyber misbehaviors. The trait sensation seeking was also explored but no firm conclusions could be drawn from those results. Gaining an understanding of some of the differences between individuals that make some more likely to commit cyber misbehaviors-- as well as the dynamics behind these relationships—should be greatly beneficial in helping develop deterrents to cyber misbehavior and keeping information systems safer.

Included in

Psychology Commons