Personality, emotion, and individual differences in response to online fraud

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The growth in social communication facilitated by technology mean that online scams represent a growing societal issue, with perpetrators successfully persuading people to make fraudulent payments or download malicious attachments. Incidents of online scams have continued to increase across the world, aided by technology that allows fraudsters to mimic communications so as to appear to come from legitimate sources. Much of the previous literature has focused on dispositional factors, such as personality, alongside experiential factors, such as knowledge of security policy; there is limited examination of the context or state induced factors, such as emotional state of the individual, and, importantly, how that may impact upon their decision making process. This paper reviews and applies the literature exploring the role of emotions in decision making to understand how individuals may be susceptible to scams in online contexts. The mood maintenance/mood-repair view is proposed as an appropriate theoretical foundation for research in this area; it provides the focus on the interaction between the individuals current emotional state and the emotional appeals embedded in any message, and what the likely response will be.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109847
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date28 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2021


  • Decision making
  • Emotions
  • Fraud
  • Internet
  • Personality
  • Victimisation


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