Uses and Gratifications and Internet Profiles:
A Factor Analysis
Part 6

BY SHARON A. ANGLEMAN
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, DECEMBER 2000


METHOD OF ANALYSIS:

A total of 144 cases were recorded for heuristic factor analysis. Of the sample surveyed, 43% were male and 57% were female. Fifty-three percent of the respondents were 24 years of age or younger. Fourteen percent were between 25 and 29 years of age. The remaining respondents were 30 years or older. Table A provides a further breakdown of age and education level findings.

Table A Age and Education

TABLE A

Age

Frequency (n)

Percent

 

Education

Frequency (n)

Percent

16-19

40

27.8

 

freshman

29

20.1

20-24

37

25.7

sophomore

10

6.9

25-29

20

13.9

 

junior

15

10.4

30-34

10

6.9

 

senior

17

11.8

35-39

8

5.6

 

graduate

50

34.7

40-44

14

9.7

 

other

20

13.9

45-49

6

4.2

 

Total

141

97.9

50-54

4

2.8

 

missing

3

2.1

55-59

2

1.4

 

Total

144

100

60 or over

3

2.1

       

Total

144

100.0

Of the 144 respondents, 137 indicated a major. Table B lists the types and percentages of majors reported by the 137 respondents who answered this item.

Table B Percentage of Majors

TABLE B

Majors

Percent

English

4.3

Communications

13.7

Undecided

6.5

Finance/Business

11.6

Computer Science/Math

14.5

Social Sciences

8.7

Education

11.6

Fine Arts/Speech Communication

5.1

Psychology

5.1

Engineering

6.5

Other

12.4

Fifty-two percent of the respondents have been using the Internet for 5 or more years; 23% for more than 3 years but less than 4; 14% for more than 2 years but less than 3; 8% for 1 year to 23 months; and 3% have used the Internet less than 12 months. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents access the Internet from their homes, 17% from their place of business, and 22% from school.

Of the 144 surveyed, 134 of them reported using email often. Two respondents reported that they rarely use email. Fifty-three percent of the respondents reported that they surfed on the Internet often. Less than 2% reported that they rarely surf the Internet.

Seventy-two percent of the respondents reported satisfaction on the Internet. The same percentage of agreement was reported for both items directly related to "gratification." Seven percent of the total respondents report they are unsatisfied with their experiences. Again, both "ungratified" items measure at the same percentage of agreement. However, nearly one-half of the satisfied users (32% of 72%) think that the Internet has taken the warmth out of communication. Table C reports the actual percentages related to these items.

Table C Percentage Gratification

TABLE C

Agree/strong agree

Disagree/strong disagree

Satisfied with Internet results

72%

7%

Internet satisfies my expectations

72%

7%

Often disappointed in the Internet

7%

72%

Internet has taken warmth out of communications

32%

46%

Factoring was used to analyze the data. The Principle Component Analysis extraction method and the Varimax rotation method using Kaiser Normalization were used in factoring. Rotation converged in 68 iterations. Missing values were eliminated listwise, leaving 122 cases. Initial eigenvalues for 97 components were evaluated. Twenty-eight components were extracted having eigenvalues greater than 1.00. These provided a total explanation of initial variance for up to 77.95 %. Initial eigenvalues for the 28 components ranged from 11.51 to 1.012.

In effort to condense components into more meaningful sectors and to keep data more manageable, components with rotated loaded squared sums of less than 3.00 were not used, leaving the first seven components to be analyzed. Factors with less than a rotated, loaded squared sum of 3.00 were not always consistent and seemed to provide little explanation for variances related to this study. An additional factor analysis was run requesting seven components. Convergence occurred in 13 iterations. The seven resulting components explained a rotated cumulative percentage of 42.61. The seven factors inferred by analysis are presented in Table D and are listed according to loading ranks.

Table D - User Types by Ranking
Initial Eigenvalues

Rotated Sums Sq Loadings

% Rotated of Variance

% Rotated Cumulative

Gratified Control External Users

11.512

7.985

8.232

8.232

Gratified Independent Internal Users

9.135

7.241

7.465

15.696

Highly Gratified Control Internal Users

5.979

7.233

7.457

23.154

Agitated Introvert Users

4.235

5.932

6.115

29.270

Ungratified Cycle Users

3.893

5.166

5.326

34.596

Basic Independent Users Internal LOC

3.451

3.923

4.045

38.641

General Gratified User External LOC

3.133

3.856

3.975

42.616

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Feel free to cite material in this study, but please provide this reference:
     Angleman, S. (December, 2000). Uses and Gratifications and Internet Profiles: A Factor Analysis. Is Internet Use and Travel to Cyberspace Reinforced by Unrealized Gratifications? Paper presented at the Western Science Social Association 2001 Conference held in Reno, NV. <http://www.jrily.com/LiteraryIllusions/InternetGratificationStudyIndex.html> (date of access).

Complete factor analysis and other detailed data is available upon request (SPSS format, IBM)). For information or comments concerning this study, please contact, Sharon Angleman at sharon@jrily.com Visit my home site at http://www.jrily.com/LiteraryIllusions/ for other journalistic materials.