ATLANTA—Georgia State University’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group (ECBS) will use a $1.4 million federal Minerva Research Initiative grant to examine the growing threat of conspiracy theories and how they lead to radicalization and acts of violence.
The three- to five-year study seeks ways to aid individuals who seek to disengage from such groups and their actions.
The spread of conspiracy theories has reached critical proportions in the United States and globally as individuals who become radicalized by false beliefs seek to engage in violent acts of terrorism. The research focus will be on how conspiracy theories become weaponized and how to disrupt the path to radicalization.
“Our goal is to design a model of intervention that will safely and securely lead participants to disengagement,” said ECBS director David Maimon. “We hope to help individuals make changes that – to date – have proven challenging and dangerous for those trying to disengage from violent extremist groups.”
Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Center
David Maimon is an Associate Professor in the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the Ohio State University in 2009. Prior to joining Georgia State University ranks, David held a professor position in the University of Maryland. David’s research interests include theories of human behaviors, cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes and experimental research methods. In 2015 he was awarded the “Young Scholar Award” from the “White-Collar Crime Research Consortium of the National White-Collar Crime Center” for his cybercrime research. He is also the recipient of the “Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Faculty Mentor Award” (from the University of Maryland), and the “Best Publication award in Mental Health” (from the American Sociological Association). His current research focuses on computer hacking and the progression of system trespassing events, computer networks vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, and decision-making process in cyber space. He is also conducting research on intellectual property and cyber fraud.