Can cognitive science help us make information risk more tangible online?
Creese, Sadie and Lamberts, Koen (2009) Can cognitive science help us make information risk more tangible online? In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece.
People are already using the Web for many aspects of their lives at work and at home. Individuals’ ability to assess the risks associated with operating in cyberspace will have direct costs and benefits, potentially impacting themselves, the corporate networks they have access to and broader society. Although individuals are equipped with cognitive tools that allow them to assess risk in a wide range of situations and contexts, much evidence suggests that people do not find risk in cyberspace a tangible concept. We need to provide users of the Web with a better intuition for the risks they are taking by using tools with high usability. Crucial to achieving this will be an understanding of how to make risk tangible using Web interfaces. Although existing research in cognitive psychology can undoubtedly provide important general principles for the design of effective risk communication strategies, it is not clear to what extent these principles can be applied to Web interfaces. We require new models of communication and interaction on the Web which consider the human user, cognition, trust and risk taking.
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