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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  The failure of demographic variables to explain Internet usage may seem somewhat surprising in view of the extensive attention that the Digital Divide has received. However, it may be that once disadvantaged groups gain access they are able to close the gap in usage. Indeed, one way to interpret the negative correlations between race and outcome expectations (recalling that effects coding was used, in which Anglos were coded as 1 and minorities as 0) is that minorities have their expectations met better by the Internet than Anglos. This may be especially true of status outcomes. However, there was a positive correlation between gender (with males coded 1, females 0) and Internet self-efficacy (r = .239, p < .05), suggesting a confidence gap still may exist between male and female users. The inferior forms of access that females experience (AAUW, 2000) is a possible explanation for this deficit. Limitations The generalizability of the present research is limited due to its limited geographic scope. The Internet user sample contained disproportionately small representations of young people and males. As a one-shot survey study, the direction of causation cannot be established. Indeed, within SCT reciprocal causation is recognized. For example, self- efficacy is a precondition for successful performance of a behavior but successful performance also increases self-efficacy. Implications for Further Research Thus longitudinal research is called for. However, given that this process is ongoing, conventional longitudinal research methods with retest periods of weeks or months may miss subtle changes. Experimental research that allows the user to

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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The failure of demographic variables to explain Internet usage may seem
somewhat surprising in view of the extensive attention that the Digital Divide has
received. However, it may be that once disadvantaged groups gain access they are able to
close the gap in usage. Indeed, one way to interpret the negative correlations between
race and outcome expectations (recalling that effects coding was used, in which Anglos
were coded as 1 and minorities as 0) is that minorities have their expectations met better
by the Internet than Anglos. This may be especially true of status outcomes. However,
there was a positive correlation between gender (with males coded 1, females 0) and
Internet self-efficacy (r = .239, p < .05), suggesting a confidence gap still may exist
between male and female users. The inferior forms of access that females experience
(AAUW, 2000) is a possible explanation for this deficit.
Limitations
The generalizability of the present research is limited due to its limited geographic
scope. The Internet user sample contained disproportionately small representations of
young people and males. As a one-shot survey study, the direction of causation cannot be
established. Indeed, within SCT reciprocal causation is recognized. For example, self-
efficacy is a precondition for successful performance of a behavior but successful
performance also increases self-efficacy.
Implications for Further Research
Thus longitudinal research is called for. However, given that this process is
ongoing, conventional longitudinal research methods with retest periods of weeks or
months may miss subtle changes. Experimental research that allows the user to


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