Discussion paper

DP15391 Personal Values and Cyber Risk-Taking

This research explores the relationship between personal values and the tendency to take cyber-risks. We first develop and add six cyber-risk items to the well-known Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT) scale. Importantly, we show that like the other five domains examined by the scale (Health, Ethical, Financial, Recreational, and Social), these cyber items form a separate cluster. Separate clusters are essential in order to employ the DOSPERT scale.

We then examine the association between values and cyber risk taking behavior. We find that “conservation (conservatism)” values are negatively correlated with the tendency to take cyber risks. Thus, individuals for whom this value is important are less likely to take cyber risks. We also find that “openness to change” values are positively associated with the tendency to take cyber-risks. Individuals with high scores for this value are more likely to take cyber risks. The findings point to possible “values based” interventions in order to increase cyber-security.


Weinstein, Z, S Roccas and N Gandal (2020), ‘DP15391 Personal Values and Cyber Risk-Taking‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15391. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15391