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Parameters of ICT-associated deviant behaviour among Omani undergraduates: A socio-psychological perspective

Mariam Nasser Al-Nuaimi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Abdelmajid Bouazza (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Maher M. Abu-Hilal (Department of Psychology, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 13 April 2020

Issue publication date: 20 May 2021




This paper examines associations among the socio-psychological determinants of information and communication technologies (ICT)-assisted deviance-related practices within a group of Omani undergraduates. Moreover, this study aims to evaluate the explanatory burdens of such socio-psychological factors on actual behaviour.


The study implements a predictive research design applied to a cross-sectional sample. At the outset, a theoretical model was built based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). Thereafter, structural equation modelling was implemented to test the TPB model on the response data collected from a cluster sample of undergraduates from six universities in the Sultanate of Oman.


The results of the path diagram overwhelmingly support the TPB hypotheses. Specifically, intention is the most influential and immediate predictor of behaviour, while at the same time partially, though markedly, mediating the influence of cognition on behaviour.

Practical implications

This study has implications for the design of inclusive measures of the intrinsic dimensions of ethical self-efficacy as designated by the social cognitive theory of moral thought and conduct, which include moral judgment, self-monitoring of conduct and affective reactions to conduct. As the study reveals the importance of the explanatory power of cognition to explain variance in intention and behaviour, it has implications on the development of ICT-ethics-education.


This study fills a gap in the empirical literature on how intention mediates the relationship between ICT-ethics-connected cognition and behaviour. Moreover, the study addresses the direct relationship between cognition and behaviour – a relationship that is considered equivocal in both theories of planned behaviour and reasoned action.



Al-Nuaimi, M.N., Bouazza, A. and Abu-Hilal, M.M. (2021), "Parameters of ICT-associated deviant behaviour among Omani undergraduates: A socio-psychological perspective", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 70 No. 3, pp. 225-253.



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