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The cognitive heuristics behind disclosure decisions

Marmion, Vincent, Joseph, Bishop, Felicity, Millard, David E. and Stevenage, Sarah V. (2017) The cognitive heuristics behind disclosure decisions In Social Informatics. SocInfo 2017. vol. 10539, Springer., pp. 591-607.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Despite regulatory efforts to protect personal data online, users knowingly consent to disclose more personal data than they intend, and they are also prone to disclose more than they know. We consider that a reliance on cognitive heuristics is key to explaining these aspects of users’ disclosure decisions. Also, that the cues underpinning these heuristics can be exploited by organisations seeking to extract more data than is required. Through the lens of an existing credibility heuristic framework, we qualitatively analyse 23, one-to-one, semi-structured interviews. We identify six super-ordinate classes of heuristics that users rely upon during disclosures: PROMINENCE, NETWORK, RELIABILITY, ACCORDANCE, NARRATIVE, MODALITY, and a seventh non-heuristics TRADE class. Our results suggest that regulatory efforts seeking to increase the autonomy of the informed user are inapt. Instead the key to supporting users during disclosure decisions could be to positively nudge users through the cues underpinning these simple heuristics.

Text The cognitive heuristics behind disclosure, decisions - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 3 September 2018.
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Accepted/In Press date: 25 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 September 2017


Local EPrints ID: 414781
PURE UUID: 55a6bcac-4c6c-4d10-9eb9-52aa3fa6edf0
ORCID for Felicity Bishop: ORCID iD
ORCID for David E. Millard: ORCID iD
ORCID for Sarah V. Stevenage: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 11 Oct 2017 16:31
Last modified: 15 Oct 2017 14:20

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