Exploring risky online behaviour

9 December 2015

Dr Sally GainsburyDr Sally Gainsbury will continue her work investigating online risk taking after being awarded an Australian Research Council DECRA (Discovery Early Career Research Award) at the University of Sydney.

The 2007 Menzies Scholar in Allied Health Research, who has conducted extensive research into gambling and online gambling, will begin this latest research project in 2016.

The project entitled ‘The influence of features of the online environment on risk taking: Unravelling the impact of social cues’, aims to increase our understanding of what aspects of websites encourage people to engage in risky behaviours.

Sally says “Risk taking in online environments can have significant negative consequences, such as being a victim or perpetrator of cybercrime.

“We aim to develop and test a conceptual model to understand the psychological processes underlying risk taking online, focusing on the impact of social cues and specific online environmental cues.”

Anticipated project outcomes will benefit policymakers by identifying how sites can be made safer and may also show how to educate people to make safe decisions online and to avoid sites that may encourage them to take risks or engage in antisocial behaviours.

The ARC research award is valued at $369,000.