Usage profiles of users of interactive communication technology: An empirical investigation into the
                         significance of selected individual attributes and their influence on product usage

                         Davied, Daniel Joseph; PhD

                         SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY,1999


                         While the popular literature continues to announce the dawning “information revolution,”
                         data are sparse concerning what actually happens after a family acquires the communication device.
                         Does it entertain in the living room, facilitate work in the study, or gather dust in the closest? This
                         knowledge void is due to our lack of understanding regarding the factors that contribute to usage of
                         communication technologies. Unfortunately, some will not be able to, or will choose not to, participate in
                         the information revolution. Several authors have noted the social inequalities in access to information
                         resources and the resulting unevenness in the ability of social groups to participate in this revolution.
                         Ultimately, it will be our acceptance of these new technologies that will determine the breadth, depth,
                         and tempo of the Information Revolution. Despite the massive research effort represented by the
                         existing body of diffusion research, many observers are critical of the methodology, assumptions and
                         concepts associated with such studies. Some have noted that most studies assumed that diffusion of an
                         innovation is independent of all other innovations. In reality, however, an innovation does not exist in
                         isolation from other innovations. Furthermore, many diffusion researchers tended to base their
                         conclusion on product ownership. Plus, most studies investigated products within the same
                         “product category” rather than the broader “technology cluster.” Thus,
                         additional research that explicitly considers the usage level and usage purpose for a technology cluster is
                         warranted. This paper explores the usage of household communication technologies and the theoretical
                         relationship of usage intensity, usage intent, and occupational prestige. We contend that consumers
                         use communications resources to satisfy psychological and social needs. As multiple technologies are
                         available to satisfy our needs, our choice of the “best” technology is based on the social
                         circumstances surrounding its use and the social standing of the consumer. This study provides greater
                         understanding of the usage profiles for communication technologies and lays the foundation for further
                         theoretical and empirical work.

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