CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


College of Engineering and Computing


Easwar Nyshadham

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Gerald Van Loon


Implicit Measure, Online Risk, Perceived Risk, Single Category Implicit Association Test, Information technology, Web studies, Social psychology


Information systems researchers typically use self-report measures, such as questionnaires to study consumers’ online risk perception. The self-report approach captures the conscious perception of online risk but not the unconscious perception that precedes and dominates human being’s decision-making. A theoretical model in which implicit risk perception precedes explicit risk evaluation is proposed. The research model proposes that implicit risk affects both explicit risk and the attitude towards online purchase. In a direct path, the implicit risk affects attitude towards purchase. In an indirect path, the implicit risk affects explicit risk, which in turn affects attitude towards purchase.

The stimulus used was a questionable web site offering pre-paid credit card services. Data was collected from 150 undergraduate students enrolled in a university. Implicit risk was measured using methods developed in social psychology, namely, single category-implicit association test. Explicit risk and attitude towards purchase were measured using a well-known instrument in the e-commerce risk literature.

Preliminary, unconditioned analysis suggested that (a) implicit risk does not affect explicit risk, (b) explicit risk does not affect attitude to purchase, and (c) implicit risk does not affect attitude towards purchase.