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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  one study, a measure of habit was found to be a significant predictor of Internet usage (LaRose et al., 2001). Deficient Self Regulation is defined as a state in which conscious self-control is relatively diminished. Working from conceptual and operational definitions of behavioral addictions, LaRose and his colleagues have shown the variable to be a powerful predictor of both e-commerce activity (LaRose & Eastin, 2002) and general Internet usage (LaRose et al., 2001) and have proposed it as an explanatory mechanism for so-called “internet addictions” (LaRose et al., 2002). However, the relationship between habit and deficient self-regulation has not been clearly distinguished. Addictions, including behavioral addictions, may be regarded as a form of habitual behavior (Marlatt, Baer & Kivlahan, 1988) so the two constructs overlap on a conceptual level. Since LaRose et al.’s operational definitions of deficient self- regulation were drawn from the symptoms of behavioral addictions, there is the possibility of confounding. At the operational level, the measures of habit have been underdetermined; that is, they have had too few items to produce reliable measurement. LaRose et al. (2002) were forced to conclude that they could not clearly distinguish habit from deficient self-regulation, leaving a topic for further research. The present research will assess these constructs to determine if they are empirically distinct. Are College Students Typical Internet Users? Much of the extant research on Internet usage has focused on college students. The rationale often offered is that college students are a population of interest because of the ready access to the Internet they enjoy and the high incidence of users found in that population. As such, they might represent “typical” populations of users and also, as part

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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one study, a measure of habit was found to be a significant predictor of Internet usage
(LaRose et al., 2001).
Deficient Self Regulation is defined as a state in which conscious self-control is
relatively diminished. Working from conceptual and operational definitions of behavioral
addictions, LaRose and his colleagues have shown the variable to be a powerful predictor
of both e-commerce activity (LaRose & Eastin, 2002) and general Internet usage (LaRose
et al., 2001) and have proposed it as an explanatory mechanism for so-called “internet
addictions” (LaRose et al., 2002).
However, the relationship between habit and deficient self-regulation has not been
clearly distinguished. Addictions, including behavioral addictions, may be regarded as a
form of habitual behavior (Marlatt, Baer & Kivlahan, 1988) so the two constructs overlap
on a conceptual level. Since LaRose et al.’s operational definitions of deficient self-
regulation were drawn from the symptoms of behavioral addictions, there is the
possibility of confounding. At the operational level, the measures of habit have been
underdetermined; that is, they have had too few items to produce reliable measurement.
LaRose et al. (2002) were forced to conclude that they could not clearly distinguish habit
from deficient self-regulation, leaving a topic for further research. The present research
will assess these constructs to determine if they are empirically distinct.
Are College Students Typical Internet Users?
Much of the extant research on Internet usage has focused on college students.
The rationale often offered is that college students are a population of interest because of
the ready access to the Internet they enjoy and the high incidence of users found in that
population. As such, they might represent “typical” populations of users and also, as part


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