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A Social Cognitive Explanation of Internet Uses and Gratifications: Toward a New Theory of Media Attendance
Unformatted Document Text:  sensory incentives include the search for novel information, they parallel information seeking gratifications. Social incentives stemming from rewarding interactions with others correspond well to social gratifications. SCT stresses the importance of self efficacy, or belief in one’s capability to organize and execute a particular course of action (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy is particularly relevant to the Internet since it is a somewhat troublesome medium. This is especially so for novice users who have not as yet acquired the requisite skills to obtain useful information and deal with the discontents of life online, from viruses to balky home internet connections. Self-efficacy has proven to be a robust and significant predictor of Internet usage (Eastin & LaRose, 2000; LaRose et al., 2001). Self-Regulation and Internet Usage The SCT construct of self-regulation (Bandura, 1991) has also emerged as an important predictor of Internet consumption (LaRose et al., 2002). The self-regulatory mechanism describes how individuals continually monitor their own behavior (self- monitoring), judge it in relation to relevant personal and social standards (judgmental process), and apply self-reactive incentives to moderate their behavior (self reaction). Self-regulation is an important point of distinction between SCT and “functionalist” or stimulus-response theories of human behavior in that it describes self-generated influences that free the individual from blindly following the dictates of external reinforcement. Self-regulation is perhaps what best distinguishes humans from Skinner’s (1938) pigeons: we are able to conceptualize and evaluate our own behavior and formulate and implement our own courses of action, pigeons are not.

Authors: Eastin, Matthew. and Larose, Robert.
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sensory incentives include the search for novel information, they parallel information
seeking gratifications. Social incentives stemming from rewarding interactions with
others correspond well to social gratifications.
SCT stresses the importance of self efficacy, or belief in one’s capability to
organize and execute a particular course of action (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy is
particularly relevant to the Internet since it is a somewhat troublesome medium. This is
especially so for novice users who have not as yet acquired the requisite skills to obtain
useful information and deal with the discontents of life online, from viruses to balky
home internet connections. Self-efficacy has proven to be a robust and significant
predictor of Internet usage (Eastin & LaRose, 2000; LaRose et al., 2001).
Self-Regulation and Internet Usage
The SCT construct of self-regulation (Bandura, 1991) has also emerged as an
important predictor of Internet consumption (LaRose et al., 2002). The self-regulatory
mechanism describes how individuals continually monitor their own behavior (self-
monitoring), judge it in relation to relevant personal and social standards (judgmental
process), and apply self-reactive incentives to moderate their behavior (self reaction).
Self-regulation is an important point of distinction between SCT and “functionalist” or
stimulus-response theories of human behavior in that it describes self-generated
influences that free the individual from blindly following the dictates of external
reinforcement. Self-regulation is perhaps what best distinguishes humans from Skinner’s
(1938) pigeons: we are able to conceptualize and evaluate our own behavior and
formulate and implement our own courses of action, pigeons are not.


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