Memorability of Computer Security Posters as Affected by Message Type

Master's Thesis


Effective computer security is highly dependent upon the behavior of the end-user. 50 participants analyzed five themes of computer security messages in an attempt to determine which theme(s) were the most effective in encouraging end-users to make sound security decisions and adopt safe security practices.

Several findings stood out. Regret and morality messages were the least likely to influence change based on their memorability, believability, persuasiveness, and actionability. Next, incentive messages performed at an intermediate level with respect to these change factors. Finally, deterrent and feedback messages performed well in terms of influencing change, with feedback messages unexpectedly performing the best.

It is recommended that future research explore ways to enhance the memorability of all message types, improve the believability and persuasiveness of incentive messages, and unpack what it is about feedback messages that makes them effective. The latter work might well focus on the normative aspects of feedback.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-02172015-122148

Author Mitchell Kajzer
Advisor Charles R. Crowell
Contributor Michelle M. Wirth, Committee Member
Contributor Bradley S. Gibson, Committee Member
Contributor Charles R. Crowell, Committee Chair
Contributor Michael A. Villano, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2014-12-12

Submission Date 2015-02-17
  • United States of America

  • Information security

  • awareness message

  • memory

  • message framing

  • personality

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units

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