Perceived argument quality's effect on threat and coping appraisals in fear appeals: An experiment and exploration of realism check heuristics

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Persuasion is key to encourage compliance with information security policies through fear appeals, though research has not examined how the perceived quality of their arguments affects threat and coping appraisals. Because we know that perceived argument quality can influence attitudes and behavior, it may improve fear appeal effectiveness. The results of a scenario-based field experiment suggest that perceived argument quality increases response efficacy perceptions and compliance intentions. We also examine emerging heuristics about how to use realism checks in scenario-based research and find that current realism check heuristics in behavioral information security research may be misguided, contributing to biased interpretation.

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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2019.03.002

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Information & Management