Uses and Gratifications
and Internet Profiles:
Additional research should include more detail analysis of actual Internet use in terms of programs and time spent on the Internet. This will help verify the actual needs being sought, as well as enable researchers to correlate Internet time per session and gratification levels. General questions should be tailored to better identify group types and their demographics. Understanding personality types as they relate to Internet behaviors would benefit a large number of groups, as mentioned in the introduction. Formats and programs could be developed to compliment various types and their needs.
Sampling that extends beyond the academic environment would eliminate some of the bias that occurs when dealing with specific groups. Some students are still in the process of learning their way around their Internet or may be using the Internet involuntarily more than voluntarily. Voluntary usage could provide more accurate gratification measures. Other students (Type 1, for example) may be experiencing the novel newness of the Internet and may thereby view many of the activities as euphoric. Additional influences could also be the amount of free time available for Internet activities and access locations.
Future studies might consider administering the survey instrument in person, as response rates were somewhat low using random e-mail. An approximate total of 1,284 requests were made (300 in initial email database and approximately 984 members in the 34 listservs). This yields a response rate of 11.2%. Approximately 120 responses were submitted up to several weeks after the deadline, however. This might indicate a longer time frame is needed for electronically generated responses if that method is chosen.
Types of control should also be explored and further correlated with personality types. More in-depth investigation could reveal additional patterns between unconscious needs and Internet use, especially for those more interested in behaviors than information assistance.
Particular attention should be given to the groups reporting ungratified use and continued use. Considering the personality traits correlating to these users, it could be that perceptions of self, social behaviors and emotional attitudes have a direct bearing on Internet activities and behaviors. This information could be helpful in finding ways to increase positive experiences with the Internet, including activities associated with learning. Additional research in this area could also help researchers understand the phenomena of addictive Internet behaviors. Correlations between behaviors and expectations on the Internet draw some distinctions between positive emotional health, Internet values and gratifications.