Peer-to-peer file-sharing: Psychological reactance and the theory of planned behaviour

Peter Allen, Katherine Shepherd, Lynne D Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Despite persistent government and industry efforts to stop the sharing and downloading of media such as files over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, this activity shows no sign of abating. This research investigated whether psychological reactance could account for variance in the intent to engage in, and the extent of such behaviour beyond that accounted for by the standard Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) variables. No support for psychological reactance as a predictor of P2P file downloading intent or behaviour was found in this paper. However, the results did indicate that attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control each accounted for significant variance in P2P file downloading behaviour, and that these relationships were fully mediated by behavioural intent. These findings are consistent with, and provide strong support for, the use of the TPB within this domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Technoethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • BitTorrent
  • File-Sharing
  • Internet
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
  • Piracy
  • Reactance
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)


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