Uses and Gratifications and Internet Profiles:
A Factor Analysis
Part 9



In this study, seven distinct groups were found:

    • Type 1 - Gratified Control External Users
    • Type 2 - Gratified Independent Internal Users
    • Type 3 - Highly gratified Control Internal Users
    • Type 4 - Agitated Introvert Users
    • Type 5 - Ungratified Cycle Users
    • Type 6 - Basic Independent users (internal LOC)
    • Type 7 - General Gratified User (external LOC)

Groups were initially identified by grouping the highest and lowest loadings. Moderate loadings for particular items were considered for a group based on the same item loadings for the remaining groups. Only one of the seven groups, Type 5, was labeled as being dissatisfied with the Internet. This group actually measured highly unsatisfied with the Internet. These users, however, measured the most likely to continue use in spite of frustration, they were moderately meta-connected and have a moderate to high value for control on the Internet. Type 3 loaded highest for Internet gratification. Of the remaining groups, four measured generally gratified and one measured moderate to highly gratified. Type 3 also had the highest loading for meta-connectedness, Internet dependency and Internet control.

This preliminary research indicates that control is not directly correlated to Internet gratification for Type 2 and 6 users. It does indicate a strong correlation, however, for Types 1, 3, and 4, and moderate correlations for Group 5. This indicates the possibility that Internet control may be a dependent variable for some groups based on personality type rather than an independent motivator regardless of personality type. Testing is inconclusive in its ability to correlate control directly with a particular LOC. According to this data, it is very likely that the tendency to seek control on the Internet is related to and dependent on the interpersonal communication behaviors and loneliness and/or sociability.

Type 3 users loaded highest (+.544) for the variable "I use the Internet because it gives me control." They are both willing to communicate and have a strong internal LOC. These users appear to have a personal investment with the Internet and report higher online gratification and connectedness than the other groups. They clearly appreciate the freedom, control and diversity the Internet provides them and experience a high level of meta-connectedness. They appear to be happiest on the Internet and have a variety of interpersonal needs satisfied through this medium. Interpersonal communication satisfaction rates moderately low.

Type 1 users, however, also display high Internet gratification. These users are unwilling to communicate and have strong external LOC. They clearly enjoy control on the Internet and experience a sense of meta-connectedness also. The primary similarity between group 1 and 3 (other than Internet gratification and use) is the tendency to have less enthusiasm toward interpersonal communications. Of the two groups, group 3 would probably rate lower on this.

The first three groups explain 23.25% of total variances. These groups rate control as primary factor in Internet gratification, whether it is related to behavior or information. There is clearly a difference in the types of control enjoyed by external and internal LOC users. Less satisfied groups also report control as a factor, though data within these groups is inconclusive. Contradictions and cycles occur that should be further examined.


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. <> (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 Visit my home site at for other journalistic materials.