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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  selection decisions on the basis of expected outcomes while veteran users had lapsed into more habitual modes of Internet consumption. The relationship of habit and deficient self-regulation was also further clarified. Habit perhaps indicates a failure of the first of the three subfunctions of self-regulation proposed by SCT, self-observation. Habitual media attendance means engaging in media consumption behavior in direct response to environmental stimuli, without engaging in (or at least without replicating) the active analytic thought processes assumed by Uses and gratifications. As such, this aspect of unregulated media behavior is closely related to notions of automaticity (Bargh & Gollwitzer, 1994). Deficient self-regulation derives from the failure of the judgmental and self-reactive subprocesses of self-regulation. It reflects a conscious failure of self-control wherein individuals struggle with themselves to judge their own behavior against appropriate standards and to apply incentives to moderate their consumption. The two variables are theoretically related in that excessive habitual usage might trigger the struggle for self control. However, habitual behavior is inherently automatic and unobserved, while individuals with high levels of deficient self- regulation are keenly, perhaps painfully, aware of their behavior. Both variables were unique, significant predictors of usage in the present study. This suggests that these two constructs are on fact distinct. Internet self-efficacy was also a significant predictor of Internet usage, although it was not as powerful a predictor as it was in previous studies involving college student populations (LaRose et al., 2001). The substantial correlations observed between Internet self-efficacy and novel sensory outcomes (r = .496) and status outcomes (r =. 488) perhaps suggest that self-efficacy building is an on-going process. Even after basic

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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selection decisions on the basis of expected outcomes while veteran users had lapsed into
more habitual modes of Internet consumption.
The relationship of habit and deficient self-regulation was also further clarified.
Habit perhaps indicates a failure of the first of the three subfunctions of self-regulation
proposed by SCT, self-observation. Habitual media attendance means engaging in media
consumption behavior in direct response to environmental stimuli, without engaging in
(or at least without replicating) the active analytic thought processes assumed by Uses
and gratifications. As such, this aspect of unregulated media behavior is closely related to
notions of automaticity (Bargh & Gollwitzer, 1994). Deficient self-regulation derives
from the failure of the judgmental and self-reactive subprocesses of self-regulation. It
reflects a conscious failure of self-control wherein individuals struggle with themselves
to judge their own behavior against appropriate standards and to apply incentives to
moderate their consumption. The two variables are theoretically related in that excessive
habitual usage might trigger the struggle for self control. However, habitual behavior is
inherently automatic and unobserved, while individuals with high levels of deficient self-
regulation are keenly, perhaps painfully, aware of their behavior. Both variables were
unique, significant predictors of usage in the present study. This suggests that these two
constructs are on fact distinct.
Internet self-efficacy was also a significant predictor of Internet usage, although it
was not as powerful a predictor as it was in previous studies involving college student
populations (LaRose et al., 2001). The substantial correlations observed between Internet
self-efficacy and novel sensory outcomes (r = .496) and status outcomes (r =. 488)
perhaps suggest that self-efficacy building is an on-going process. Even after basic


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