School of Communication
Communication Studies: Speech Communication
American national security, privacy rights, surrender, communication theory
Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies
Brewer, Abigail, "A New Theory of Communication: Privacy Surrender for Security Theory" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 951.
This thesis seeks to analyze the viability of a newly proposed theory of communication, Privacy Surrender for Security Theory (PSST), by analyzing a quantitative survey administered by the researcher. Proposed in 2018 by a team of undergraduate students, Privacy Surrender for Security Theory seeks to explain why American citizens are willing to surrender their personal privacy rights for the sake of national security. The original team of researchers prepared a survey to further their study, and the researcher chose to administer a revised version of that survey through Facebook and a group message. Most participants surveyed said knowing that the National Security Administration has surveillance programs in place made them feel safer, yet when asked if knowing that the National Security Administration could access their personal information made them feel violated, many agreed. The survey data reveals that American citizens generally agree that the nation is vulnerable to acts of terror, yet the data also reveals that Americans are divided on their feelings on surrendering their personal privacy rights for the sake of increasing national security. An analysis of the data reveals evidence that supports the third axiom of the proposed theory, and further research is suggested to continue analyzing the first two axioms of PSST.