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Attributions and Motivations to use the Web: the Role of Perceived Stability



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This paper examines the relation between the attributions people provide for using the web and their levels of motivation to use the medium. Weiner's (1986) attributional theory provides the theoretical basis for predicting web users'motivation to use the medium by means of the reasons they provided for acting accordingly. Attributional theory suggests that the causes people use to explain their own behaviour can be a good predictor of their motivation to engage in similar behaviours. A number of attributions for web usage were generated by the content analysis of interviews regarding the reasons people have for using the web. The perceived stability of the attributions people provided for using the web was measured, together with a number of variables concerning participants' motivation (time spent on the web, number of web applications, and levels of interest in the medium). The findings show that perceived stability was related to levels of motivation to use the web. More specifically, participants who perceived the reasons for their use of the web as stable reported high motivation, while participants who perceived the reasons as unstable reported low motivation. The relation between perceived stability and motivation remained statistically significant when the levels of motivation were re-measured a year after the initial study.

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Future Media Research Programme (closed), Centre for Marketing

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Future Media Working Paper

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