The Role of Pluralistic Ignorance in Internet Abuse

Previous research suggests that computer security countermeasures are effective in preventing computer abuse in organizations. However, the computer abuse problem still persists despite such measures. This study examines the sociological perspective of Internet abuse that explains a causal link between abusive behavior and an actor's psychological state, drawn on theory of pluralistic ignorance (TPI). Pluralistic ignorance is a form of erroneous social interference that is both an immediate cause and a consequence of literal inconsistency between private attitudes and public behavior. Under pluralistic ignorance, mistakenly perceived social norms overwhelm personal attitudes and subsequently lead to overt behavior contrary to an actor's attitude. This new approach contributes to the theoretical body of knowledge on Internet abuse by providing a new angle to view the problem. In addition, it suggests to practitioners that social aspects should be considered, along with technical countermeasures, to reduce the pervasive Internet abuse problem

Publication Information
Article Title: The Role of Pluralistic Ignorance in Internet Abuse
Journal: Journal of Computer Information Systems (2008)
Vol. 48, No. 3
Author(s): Lee, Sang M;  Yoon, S.;  Kim, J.
Researcher Information
Lee, Sang M
Lee, Sang M
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Systems
  • International - Europe
  • International - South and Central America
  • International - Asia
HLH 315H
P.O. Box 880491
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491, USA
Phone: (402) 472-3915