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Phishing messages are designed to deceive individuals into divulging sensitive information. This study aims to understand under what circumstances an individual is more susceptible to phishing messages. By drawing on perspectives of emotional congruence and regulatory fit, we propose two mechanisms that independently and synergistically influence individuals’ phishing susceptibility: (1) the congruence between the emotional framing of the phishing message and individuals’ emotional state (i.e., emotional congruence), and (2) the fit between the motivational framing of the phishing message and individuals’ regulatory focus (i.e., regulatory fit). We propose an online experiment approach to investigate the above relationships. We will manipulate the phishing message framing and conduct priming tasks to induce participants’ emotional states and their regulatory focus. This study will uncover why and how the design of a phishing message may make individuals more vulnerable, which will further contribute to designing measures to mitigate phishing risks.



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