How Cyberattacks Terrorize: Cortisol and Personal Insecurity Jump in the Wake of Cyberattacks

Daphna Canetti, Michael Gross, Israel Waismel-Manor, Asaf Levanon, Hagit Cohen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Do cyberattacks fuel the politics of threat? By what mechanism does it do so? To address these questions, we employ a technological and physiological experiment (2 × 2) involving a simulated cyberattack. Participants were randomly assigned to "cyberattack" (treatment) or "no attack" (control) conditions. We find that cyber-attacks make people more likely to express threat perceptions; we suggest salivary cortisol, a measure of stress, as the mechanism bridging cyber and the politics of threat. Contrary to existing evidence, salivary cortisol is the mechanism that translates simulated exposure to cyberattacks into political threat perceptions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-77
    Number of pages6
    JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

    Keywords

    • Cortisol
    • Cyberterror
    • Exposure
    • Stress
    • Terrorism
    • Threat perception

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Communication
    • Applied Psychology
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Science Applications

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