Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Communication

Major Professor

Michael Singletary

Committee Members

Dorothy Bowles, Herbert Howard, David Sylwester

Abstract

The present study explored the mechanisms directing Web usage decisions to determine more reliable estimates of the importance of various influences involved.

A Web-based survey was administered to respondents who voluntarily participated by responding to a message posted to selected Internet discussion groups. Exploratory factor analysis and covariance structure model were employed to examine the relationships between attitude, expectancies, motivation, intention, and usage regarding the Web.

Research evidence spoke strongly against univariate or bivariate motivational schemes. In addition to surveillance and diversion functions that have been found in traditional mass media, the Web also provided two unique qualities, utility and interaction.

Approximately one-third of variance in Web usage was explained by expectancy-value judgments or motivations. Other influences, including non-sociological-psychological variables, attributed to Web usage variance remain to be explored.

Research findings also indicated that expectancy-value judgments and motives function similarly in determining intention and usage regarding the Web; however, user motives or gratifications appeared to further separate from the general attitude toward the Web. Further improvement in scaling expectancy-value and gratifications items is suggested to attain discriminant and convergent validity.

INDEX WORDS: Expectancy-Value, Uses and Gratifications, Web Usage

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