Determinants and Moderators of Online Behaviors
Constructs related to an individual’s behavior in online environments were identified from previous studies and categorized as personal motivations (the need to belong, the need for individuation, altruism, personal growth, and curiosity), personal factors (gender, age, level of education, time online, work position, and online experience), or online behaviors (pushing or pulling online content). A theoretical model was proposed with personal motivations directly affecting online behaviors and personal factors moderating those effects. The model was analyzed using data collected by questionnaire from a sample of 1,133 individuals. Only curiosity and the need for individuation were found to have important effects on online behaviors while only gender, online experience, time online, and work position had significant moderation effects. Compared with previous studies new findings included the relative unimportance of the effects of the need to belong, altruism, and personal growth on online behaviors. Also, the results for the moderating effects of the personal factors have not been examined or reported commonly in previous studies. From a practical perspective the findings indentified groups of individuals where personal motivations have significant effects on pushing or pulling behaviors and, more importantly, groups where the effects are not significant but may be increased by practical actions.
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