Belief in a just world and on-line piracy: Gigapedia case

Josip Ćirić, Domagoj Volarević


LIDA poster entry proposal for the Libraries in the Digital Age conference 2012 – “Changes” Contributors: dr. sc. Josip Ciric and Domagoj Volarevic, University of Zadar, Department of Library and Information Science, Croatia Belief in a just world and on-line piracy: Gigapedia case Recent shut down of popular e-book service Gigapedia caused significant stirring in Internet community. We will conduct a survey on Zadar University's students to examine manners in which they use piracy-originated materials and the correspondent attitudes toward them. Our research is focused on belief in a just world (BJW) hypothesis. This phenomenon is well researched in social psychology and it is shown to be significant explanation behind attributing victims with guilt as well as one of the helping personality determinants. It is a cognitive bias, in which subjects state they live in a just world governed by principle of justice, in which everyone receives his own due. Our research links this phenomenon with attitudes and behaviors of e-book piracy. We expect our subjects to be aware of moral issues of such practice, and we are interested in their justifications. Hypothesis We assume that subjects who make use of pirated e-books are showing the similar behavior pattern with other electronic resources (movies, software, computer games). Furthermore, we assume we are going to find high correlation with egoistic ethical model statements. The subjects high on BJW scale are going to use more rights and justice based arguments in defending their behavior. Methodology We will conduct on-line survey using belief in just world scale (Dalbert, Montada and Schmitt, 1987) to examine users behavior considering Gigapedia service usage and correlation with torrent technology usage. Beside some demographic variables, all items in the survey are Likert-type scale. Using descriptive and inferential statistical analysis we will check our hypothesis and compare our results with corresponding ones from other studies. Proposed layout of the poster The poster will provide visualization of survey results. It is divided in six sections. The upper one represents in the left column introductory examination of research, and the right one represents methodology. The middle third consists of short representation of independent and dependent variables, while the lower third is dedicated to the most interesting statistical outcomes. The middle oval window consists of variables interaction visualization. The conclusion is placed on the bottom. References Ahmad, N. H., Ansari, M. F, Aafaqi, R. (2005). Ethical Reasoning: The Impact of Ethical Dilemma, Egoism and Belief in Just World. Asian Academy of Management Journal, (10)2, 81-101. Baron, R. A., Byrne, D. (1997). Social Psychology (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Dalbert, C., Montada, L., Schmitt, M. (1987). General belief in just world scale. Retrieved March 1st, 2012, from


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