Title: A personality process model of cyber harassment

Authors: Amy R. Gammon; Patrick D. Converse; Lindsey M. Lee; Richard L. Griffith

Addresses: School of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA. ' School of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA. ' School of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA. ' School of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA

Abstract: Cyber harassment is a costly concern for organisations but little is known about the motivations behind individuals who engage in this behaviour. This article proposes a personality process model of cyber harassment in an attempt to add to the theoretical foundation in this area and stimulate additional research on this issue. Drawing from the general aggression model (Anderson and Bushman, 2002), the Dark Triad personality traits (Paulhus and Williams, 2002), and the cognitive-affective personality system theory (Mischel and Shoda, 1995), this model proposes that both situational triggering events and individual characteristics come together to produce cyber harassment. Specifically, the model proposes that Dark Triad characteristics (particularly narcissism and psychopathy) combined with particular triggering events (specifically ego threats and physical threats) lead to patterns of cognitive and affective processing that ultimately result in corporate cyber harassment behaviours. After detailing these proposed pathways associated with harassment, theoretical contributions as well as research and practical implications of the model are discussed.

Keywords: general aggression models; Dark Triad; personality traits; narcissism; Machiavellianism; psychopathy; Machiavelli; cognitive-affective personality system; motives; motivation; individual behaviour; situational triggering events; individual characteristics; ego threats; physical threats; behavioural patterns; cognitive processing; affective processing; cyber harassment; corporations; internet; world wide web.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2011.043409

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2011 Vol.11 No.5/6, pp.358 - 378

Available online: 27 Oct 2011 *

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