Bournemouth University

Oz Alashe, CEO & Founder of CybSafe, sits down with CybSafe’s Head of Behavioural Science, Dr. John Blythe, and Dr. John McAlaney. Dr. McAlaney, a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, and an Associate Professor at Bournemouth University, discusses the importance of the social group in directing cyber security behaviours, the factors that drive a person to “hack”, and how social psychology can help with our journey towards cyber resilience.

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About John

Dr John McAlaney is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Associate Professor of Psychology. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling, his MSc at the University of Strathclyde and then his PhD at the University of West of Scotland in 2007.

His PhD was on the topic of social psychology and substance use, looking particularly at misperceptions of peer norms. Following this he worked on an AERC funded post-doc position at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine before moving onto a lecturing post at the University of Bradford in 2008.

His current research focuses on psychological determinants of risk behaviours, including the behaviours, cognitions and group dynamics of both the targets of cybersecurity incidents and the individuals who seek to disrupt and exploit technical systems.

Dr. John McAlaney

Bournemouth University


  • How to engage more people in cyber security
  • An unlikely path to cyber criminality
  • What the current cyber security academic landscape looks like
  • Why hacking may not always be viewed as a negative thing