Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing: Psychological Reactance and the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing: Psychological Reactance and the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Peter Allen (Curtin University, Australia), Katherine Shepherd (Curtin University, Australia) and Lynne Roberts (Curtin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1773-5.ch008
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Abstract

Despite persistent government and industry efforts to stop the sharing and downloading of media such as files over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, this activity shows no sign of abating. This research investigated whether psychological reactance could account for variance in the intent to engage in, and the extent of such behaviour beyond that accounted for by the standard Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) variables. No support for psychological reactance as a predictor of P2P file downloading intent or behaviour was found in this paper. However, the results did indicate that attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control each accounted for significant variance in P2P file downloading behaviour, and that these relationships were fully mediated by behavioural intent. These findings are consistent with, and provide strong support for, the use of the TPB within this domain.
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Background

Internet penetration has increased rapidly over the last decade, with recent Pew Internet and American Life data indicating that almost three quarters of American adults regularly access the internet from home (Horrigan, 2009). Of these, nearly 90% connect at broadband speeds. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009), the UK Office for National Statistics (2009) and the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (2009) reveal that broadband Internet penetration levels are similarly high in Australia, the UK, and many other industrialised nations.

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