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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  Cole (2001) estimated that 7 percent of the general population of Internet users rated their Internet ability as “poor” and another 30 percent rated it only “fair.” Thus, Internet Self- Efficacy might still be related to Internet usage in a general population sample: H3: Internet self-efficacy will be positively related to Internet usage. On the question of the distinction between habit and deficient self-regulation, there may be a valid theoretical distinction between the two concepts. Habit could represent the failure of self-monitoring, one of the three subfunctions of self-regulation, while deficient self-regulation may represent a failure of the judgmental and self-reactive subfunctions. Individuals who are inattentive to repetitive patterns in their behavior are also unlikely to compare it to personal or social norms or to self-generate incentives (e.g. indulging in feelings of guilt or rewards for moderate behavior). However, the conceptual definition of deficient self-regulation (based on symptoms of pathological gambling and substance dependence) and its operationalization (e.g., “I feel my Internet use is out of control, I feel tense moody or irritable if I can’t get on the Web when I want”) betray an intense, even painful self-awareness of media consumption. Deficient self-regulation reflects a quite distinct state of mind from one in which we are inattentive to a repetitive behavior pattern and both might have independent effects on media attendance. A user might be painfully aware of deficient self-regulation with respect to, say, online gambling sites or Internet pornography, while still remaining blissfully unconcerned that she spends even more time on email. Thus, habit and deficient self-regulation could have independent effects:

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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Cole (2001) estimated that 7 percent of the general population of Internet users rated their
Internet ability as “poor” and another 30 percent rated it only “fair.” Thus, Internet Self-
Efficacy might still be related to Internet usage in a general population sample:
H3: Internet self-efficacy will be positively related to Internet usage.
On the question of the distinction between habit and deficient self-regulation,
there may be a valid theoretical distinction between the two concepts. Habit could
represent the failure of self-monitoring, one of the three subfunctions of self-regulation,
while deficient self-regulation may represent a failure of the judgmental and self-reactive
subfunctions. Individuals who are inattentive to repetitive patterns in their behavior are
also unlikely to compare it to personal or social norms or to self-generate incentives (e.g.
indulging in feelings of guilt or rewards for moderate behavior). However, the conceptual
definition of deficient self-regulation (based on symptoms of pathological gambling and
substance dependence) and its operationalization (e.g., “I feel my Internet use is out of
control, I feel tense moody or irritable if I can’t get on the Web when I want”) betray an
intense, even painful self-awareness of media consumption. Deficient self-regulation
reflects a quite distinct state of mind from one in which we are inattentive to a repetitive
behavior pattern and both might have independent effects on media attendance. A user
might be painfully aware of deficient self-regulation with respect to, say, online gambling
sites or Internet pornography, while still remaining blissfully unconcerned that she spends
even more time on email. Thus, habit and deficient self-regulation could have
independent effects:


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