The hacker mentality : exploring the relationship between psychological variables and hacking activities
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This study investigated hackers’ psychological variables and how these variables affect their hacking activities in cyberspace. 1,385 hackers from 30 different countries participated in an on-line survey. Specifically, this research examined 1) how hackers’ personality affects their angry temperament, reaction, and behavior, 2) what motivations prompt hackers to be involved in hacking activities, 3) why they keep breaking into others’ computer systems, and 4) how they respond when they face a threat to their own cultural worldviews. The results indicated that hackers with high narcissism reported more aggressiveness scores than hackers with low level of narcissism. Intrinsic motivation as well as extrinsic motivation in a hacker was partially associated with hackers’ aggressiveness. Hackers with high level of flow tended to get more involved into hacking activities than hackers with low level of flow. Hackers who strongly endorsed nationalism showed higher aggressiveness scores than hackers with lower levels of nationalism when they felt threatened.