The digital era raises interesting questions as to the way in which the surfer interacts with different types of Internet sites. One of the most interesting debates is over the question of whether socially, the Internet enables “the poor to get rich,” or whether it is actually the case that it is the “rich who get richer on the Internet.” In other words, do the poor, that is the socially inhibited, benefit most from the Internet, or is the Internet actually a tool for the rich, that is the socially competent, to become even more socially successful. This study enters this debate in the context of nostalgic websites which allow members to find and meet up with their old friends. We examined the influence of extroversion–introversion personality traits of surfers through their use of HEVREA, a nostalgic website, and on their use of social services available on the Internet, that is websites designed for social interaction (e.g. chat, ICQ). One hundred students participated in the study: 50 were heavy users of HEVREA and 50 were not users of HEVREA or any other nostalgic website. Participants filled out a questionnaire relating to the different social services they use on the net. The questionnaire also ascertained the level of extroversion of the participant using the Eysenck personality questionnaire-revised (EPQ-R) (Eysenck, H. J. (1988). Eysenck personality inventory/questionnaires. In M. Hersen & A. Bellack (Eds.), Dictionary of behavioural assessment techniques (pp. 206–209). Oxford, UK: Pregamon Press). A two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data. No main effects were found, either pertaining to the use of the HEVREA website or to extroversion-introversion. However, an interaction between the two variables was found to be significant. These results are discussed in light of the two theories: the poor get richer and the rich get richer.
Computers in Human Behavior – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2008
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