The influence of protection motivation factors and the value of websites on online users’ password practices
Ng, Isabel Su Min
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study seeks to explore the sufficiency of protection motivation theory (PMT) in predicting behavioural intention and the actual behaviour of setting complex passwords while taking in account the online user’s perception of the type of important information that the website contains (value of the websites). There were two conditions for this study: high-value website condition which refers to websites that contain high-importance personal information and low-value website condition which refers to websites that contain low-importance personal information. 98 university students were recruited for the study (low-value website condition: 48 participants; high-value website condition: 50 participants) and completed a survey while thinking of a website that contains high-importance or low-importance information. The multiple regression analysis results showed that fear arousal (p=.02), response cost (p=.003) and self-efficacy (p=.02) significantly predicted behavioural intention for low-value websites while self-efficacy (p=.002) significantly predicted behavioural intention for high value websites. When taken as a whole model, this study showed that PMT significantly predicted actual behaviour for the low-value websites (p=.004) but not for the high-value ones (p=.23). No PMT factors were significant individual predictors for actual behaviour and behavioural intention did not mediate the relationship, indicating a intention-behaviour gap. No interaction effect was found for the value of the websites and PMT factors, thus suggesting that the value of websites is not sufficient to motivate users to set complex passwords. Possible factors that may have contributed to the differences in the results were discussed. More research is recommended to confirm the findings.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University