AIS Transactions on Replication Research


The current study presents a conceptual replication of Liang and Xue’s (2010) test of their proposed Technology Threat Avoidance Theory (TTAT). Whereas the original study investigated individuals’ spyware related threat perceptions, avoidance motivations, and behaviors; we applied the original study’s research questions, hypotheses, and model to the more general context of malware. Results from a sample of 486 computer users revealed that safeguard effectiveness, safeguard cost, and self-efficacy are relatively robust predictors of avoidance motivation across varied settings. Perceived severity is a strong predictor of perceived threat, however the impact of this overall threat perception (along with its perceived susceptibility antecedent) may be less stable in predicting avoidance motivation under changing contextual/environmental circumstances. The results suggest that TTAT is a valid foundational framework for examining user behavior related to malicious software. Future research should investigate additional predictors of avoidance motivation such as risk propensity, distrust, and impulse control to improve the power of the model. Additionally, the current TTAT instrument offers several opportunities for enhanced measurement accuracy through item modifications, scale anchor revisions, and improvements in parsimony.