Internet Apprehensiveness: An Examination of On-Line Information Seeking and Purchasing Behavior

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Purpose – A model of the relationships between individuals’ perceptions of internet use and internet usage behaviors is presented and tested. The purpose of this paper is to propose that a lack of perceived responsiveness to on-line communication is positively related to individuals’ general resistance to use the internet as a communication information exchange medium, termed general internet apprehensiveness (GIA). Perceptions of GIA are negatively associated with on-line information-seeking behavior, and positively associated with individuals’ resistance to or fear of using the internet for on-line retail transactions, termed transactional internet apprehensiveness (TIA). Design/methodology/approach – College-aged students reported their attitudes about on-line information seeking, on-line purchasing, and their on-line information seeking and purchasing behaviors. The model presented is tested with path analysis to assess the variables’ interrelationships. Findings – Ultimately, lack of responsiveness is positively related to GIA, GIA is negatively related to information-seeking behavior, and TIA is negatively related to consumers’ on-line purchasing of goods and services. Research limitations/implications – The student sample used in this study prevents us from making broad-based generalizations. While students represent a large base of internet users and have been presented as a viable population to study in investigations for both academic audiences and marketing practitioners, future research will continue to benefit from more diverse samples of internet users. Practical implications – This study offers hospitality professionals a better understanding of the elements that inhibit or encourage on-line information seeking and purchasing behaviors. Originality/value – This paper further defines the socio-demographic factors that inhibit consumers from using the internet as both an information-sharing tool and purchasing medium.

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electronic commerce; information retrieval; internet; user studies; consumer behavior; United States of America


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Required Publisher Statement: © Emerald. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M., &. Stefanone, M. A. (2010). Internet apprehensiveness: An examination of on‐line information seeking and purchasing behavior. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 1(1),.5-29. doi: 10.1108/17579881011022990 Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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