The Privacy Paradox: The Role of Cognitive Absorption in the Social Networking Activity

Tawfiq Alashoor, Richard Baskerville

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Prior research shows that Social Network Sites (SNS) users who are concerned about personal privacy tend to disclose less information. However, in real-world settings, SNS users often fail to consider such concerns in their actual behavior, such as selfdisclosure. This phenomenon is known as the "privacy paradox" where individuals express high concerns about privacy but act in a contradictory way. Several theoretical approaches seek to explain this paradox. This paper extends this research by considering the holistic SNS experience. Drawing on published accounts in the press and prior work on cognitive absorption and privacy concerns, this paper proposes a theoretical framework that helps explain the privacy paradox. Specifically, it emphasizes the moderating effect of cognitive absorption on the relationship between privacy concerns and self-disclosure. Building on the privacy calculus theory, it also emphasizes the effect of cognitive absorption in magnifying perceived benefits and undermining perceived risks leading to increased self-disclosure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 International Conference on Information Systems : Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015
EditorsTraci Carte, Armin Heinzl, Cathy Urquhart
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2015
Article number1558
ISBN (Print)9780996683111
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015: Exploring the Information Frontier - Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Duration: 13 Dec 201516 Dec 2015
Conference number: 36


Conference2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015
LocationFort Worth Convention Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Worth, Texas
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Privacy concerns
  • Privacy paradox
  • Privacy calculus
  • Cognitive absorption
  • Selfdisclosure
  • Social network sites

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