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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  mediated by human symbolizing processes that integrate stimulus-response experiences into cognitive models that guide behavior. The vicarious reinforcement mechanism of interest to media effects researchers describes how observations of others’ behavior modifies expectations of the outcomes of our own behavior. Enactive learning is the mechanism through which we learn from our own experiences, the process by which our personal experience with the media may shape our expectations about outcomes of media exposure that determine our future levels of media attendance. SCT has its own version of gratification categories. These are a priori categories of behavioral incentives derived from observations of behavior across wide variety of domains of human behavior. Categories include novel sensory stimuli, monetary, social, status, activity, and self-evaluative incentives. A close analysis of these categories against Internet gratifications (LaRose et al., 2001) revealed that conventional Uses and gratifications research underemphasized status and monetary incentives that had significant positive correlations with Internet usage (see also Korgaonkar & Wolin, 1999; Flanagin & Metzger, 2001; Charney & Greenberg, 2001. When expected outcome measures reflecting the full range of these categories were subjected to exploratory factor analysis in conventional Uses and gratifications style a “new” virtual community dimension was uncovered that drew heavily on the status incentives lacking in conventional Uses and gratifications research (Song et al., 2002). Others paralleled conventional Uses and gratifications dimensions. Activity incentives, predicated on the desire to take part in enjoyable activities, correspond to the entertainment factors found in many Uses and gratifications studies. Self-evaluative incentives, which involve attempts to regulate dysphoric moods, parallel “pass time” or “boredom” gratifications. Novel

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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mediated by human symbolizing processes that integrate stimulus-response experiences
into cognitive models that guide behavior. The vicarious reinforcement mechanism of
interest to media effects researchers describes how observations of others’ behavior
modifies expectations of the outcomes of our own behavior. Enactive learning is the
mechanism through which we learn from our own experiences, the process by which our
personal experience with the media may shape our expectations about outcomes of media
exposure that determine our future levels of media attendance.
SCT has its own version of gratification categories. These are a priori categories
of behavioral incentives derived from observations of behavior across wide variety of
domains of human behavior. Categories include novel sensory stimuli, monetary, social,
status, activity, and self-evaluative incentives. A close analysis of these categories against
Internet gratifications (LaRose et al., 2001) revealed that conventional Uses and
gratifications research underemphasized status and monetary incentives that had
significant positive correlations with Internet usage (see also Korgaonkar & Wolin, 1999;
Flanagin & Metzger, 2001; Charney & Greenberg, 2001. When expected outcome
measures reflecting the full range of these categories were subjected to exploratory factor
analysis in conventional Uses and gratifications style a “new” virtual community
dimension was uncovered that drew heavily on the status incentives lacking in
conventional Uses and gratifications research (Song et al., 2002). Others paralleled
conventional Uses and gratifications dimensions. Activity incentives, predicated on the
desire to take part in enjoyable activities, correspond to the entertainment factors found in
many Uses and gratifications studies. Self-evaluative incentives, which involve attempts
to regulate dysphoric moods, parallel “pass time” or “boredom” gratifications. Novel


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