Hierarchical influence of personal values and innovativeness on adolescent Web consumption
AuthorHartman, Jonathan B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study provides a better understanding of both adolescent Web-use and the factors that influence teen Web-consumption. To this end, a hierarchical, cognitive-behavioral decision-making model of personal values → innovativeness → Web-consumption was proposed and tested. More specifically, Web-consumption behavior was thought to dichotomize into hedonic and utilitarian domains. Two hundred high school students from a Southwestern state, representing various socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, anonymously completed surveys. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses identified three latent factors of personal values (personal-self, ambition, power); four factors of innovativeness (vicarious-pensive, vicarious-future, adoptive, use); and two factors of global Web-consumption (hedonic, utilitarian). The global Web-consumption scales were cross-validated against specific Web-consumption behaviors. Global utilitarian behaviors were practical and obligatory, while global hedonic behaviors were experiential and discretionary. Specific hedonic Web-consumption included escape from reality, use with friends, and music activities, while specific utilitarian Web-activities included use for future planning, doing homework, and, coaching parental Web-searches. The two-stage structural equation model analysis with nested comparisons confirmed the hierarchical flow of the relationships. Results indicated that innovativeness served as a middle-level variable, and mediated between the Web-consumption behaviors of teens and their personal values. Each personal value factor displayed unique predictive power on unique factors of innovativeness, which, in turn, displayed unique paths to each Web-consumption factor. For instance, the "ambition" value predicted "vicarious-future" innovativeness which, in turn, predicted both "utilitarian" and "hedonic" Web-consumption. Also, the "personal self" value linked to "vicarious-pensive" innovativeness, which, in turn, predicted "hedonic" Web-consumption. The findings suggest that teens are intrinsically motivated to use the Web and benefit from computer use, even if the use is hedonic in nature. However, parents and educators may choose to monitor adolescent Web-consumption more closely. The paradox of technology can create cognitive dissonance, and teens report regular visits to sites that their parents would not approve of. The study has theoretical and practical import. New measures, and a confirmed a priori hierarchical structure, will be useful tools to researchers of consumer behavior. Professionals are advised to consider applications that would benefit adolescents, including structured after-school activities and curriculum that further integrates the Web and the classroom.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Retailing and Consumer Sciences