Online Decision Making: Online Influence and Implications for Cyber Security

Online Decision Making: Online Influence and Implications for Cyber Security

Helen Joanne Wall (Edge Hill University, UK) and Linda K. Kaye (Edge Hill University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7291-7.ch028
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The growth in computer-mediated communication has created real challenges for society; in particular, the internet has become an important resource for “convincing” or persuading a person to make a decision. From a cybersecurity perspective, online attempts to persuade someone to make a decision has implications for the radicalisation of individuals. This chapter reviews multiple definitions and theories relating to decision making to consider the applicability of these to online decision making in areas such as buying behaviour, social engineering, and radicalisation. Research investigating online decision making is outlined and the point is made that research examining online research has a different focus than research exploring online decision making. The chapter concludes with some key questions for scholars and practitioners. In particular, it is noted that online decision making cannot be explained by one single model, as none is sufficient in its own capacity to underpin all forms of online behaviour.
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Definition And Models Of Decision Making

Decision making has been the topic of considerable research attention and has been studied across a variety of disciplines such as management science, medicine, economics and psychology. Numerous definitions exist but in its simplest terms decision making has been defined as the selection of a particular course of action (Chick, Pardon, Reyna & Goldman, 2012). For instance, people choose which school/university to send their children to, which political party to vote for, and which football team to support, out of a range of possible alternatives. On the web, people also need to make decisions such as whether to visit a website, click on a ‘pop up’, and even whether or not reply to another’s Facebook post. From a commercial perspective, online decision making has been defined as a concept that describes the cognitive processes that occur in the mind of customers before they make a decision on the web (Ullmann-Margalit, 2006), such as whether to order a mobile phone.

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