Journal article Open Access

Hackers' Motivations: Testing Schwartz's Theory of Motivational Types of Values in a Sample of Hackers

Renushka Madarie

K. Jaishankar

Although much has been written on topic of hacker motivations, little empirical research has been conducted and even less research has attempted to quantify hackers’ motivations. The present study analyses relationships between the frequency of several hacking behaviours and motivations to hack in a sample of male hackers and potential hackers. Motivations frequently recurring in the literature are assessed and Schwartz´s (1992) Theory of Motivational Types of Values is applied. A preference for self-transcendence and openness to change values was found in the whole sample. Intellectual challenge and curiosity were rated as the most important motivators to circumvent security systems. However, correlation analyses signified the importance of aversion of conservation values. Hackers appear to be more motivated by what they dislike rather than by what they value. Future studies are needed to further examine the discrepancy between hackers’ ranking of motivations and the relationship between motivations and hacking behaviours.

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