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

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

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 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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