Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Chair), Gary Burns (Committee Member), Joseph Lyons (Committee Member), Tamera Schneider (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


State Information Technology (IT) suspicion is the simultaneous action of uncertainty, mal-intent, and cognitive activity about underlying information that is being electronically generated, collated, sent, analyzed, or implemented by an external agent (Bobko, Barelka, & Hirshfield, 2014). Understanding IT suspicion is important in both military and civilian contexts as both are growing increasingly reliant on automation to augment human performance (e.g., Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010). The current process model of state IT suspicion describes how suspicion arises and its immediate correlates. Little is known about how suspicion changes over time and what factors influence this change. Drawing upon the self-regulation (e.g., Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, & Tice, 1998) and attention (e.g., Just & Carpenter, 1992) literatures, I posited that suspicion is a mentally and emotionally demanding state that cannot be sustained for long periods of time. I used a growth curve modeling approach (Bliese, 2013) to examine how state IT suspicion changes over time and which factors influence this change. I found that state suspicion decreases over time and that factors related to cognitive activity and uncertainty influence the rate at which it changes. I discuss implications of my findings for the existing body of knowledge on IT suspicion, as well as its practical important in military and security contexts.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded