How do you feel about malware?

Emotions are strange and intangible strains of thought that drive all of our actions, both supporting and unsupporting our experiences of pleasure and pain.

We will normally see the definition of emotions interwoven with people’s: mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation.


Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik  developed the “wheel of emotions”. He suggested that there were eight primary emotions grouped on a positive and negative basis, these being: joy versus sadness; anger versus fear; trust versus disgust; and surprise versus anticipation.

After looking at this emotional wheel we decided to see where people decided they fitted when faced with certain events based on the realm of computer security and privacy.

We asked 50 people how they felt when confronted with installing malware, by accident, on their home PC. We then gave those people a selection of Robert Plutchik’s specified emotions and cataloged which ones they specified feeling. We asked:

Everyone has experienced installing a virus or malware onto a device in their lifetime. When you did so how did it make you feel?

What does the above show us? Well it shows us that when confronted with installing malware people will most commonly fall into Anger or Fear, both of these are polar opposites on Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions. These respectively falling into annoyance and apprehension. It is also interesting and expected that the majority of emotions that people specified were primarily negative emotions, this being over emotions like joy.

Image source:

James Stevenson

Im a Cyber Security enthusiast that loves all things to do with technology. I'm specifically interested in cyber security and ethical hacking.

You may also like...