Experts in climate change and cybersecurity face a similar challenge: although most people do perceive the severity and likelihood of hazards like global warming or data theft, they rarely actively engage in a change of behaviour to decrease their risk that exposure to the hazard will lead to negative consequences. Whereas most research in Information Systems predominantly draws on cognitive, consequentialist models, climate researchers claim that negative affect can be seen as the wellspring of actions and that a lack of emotions and affects delays or defers behavioral changes. Especially, the role of worry as trigger for behavioral change has been accentuated in the last decade but remains largely overlooked in the context of cyber-related hazards. However, behavioral scientists claim that humans’ capacity of emotions is limited which leads to the hypothetical mental formation of a Hierarchy of Concerns. Only risks that are perceived as probable, serious and concern-inducing will elicit personal worry which ultimately leads to action. Due to the limited capacity of emotions, climate researchers attribute inaction to the so-called Finite Pool of Worry. We thus assume that cyber-related hazards are affected similarly by these mental formations and present our experimental approach aimed at demonstrating its existence.
Heidt, Margareta, "LEARNING FROM CLIMATE RESEARCH: APPLYING THE FINITE POOL OF WORRY ON CYBER-RELATED RISKS" (2018). Research-in-Progress Papers. 26.