During the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Diego, CA, our Director Bill Dutton and Assistant Director Bibi Reisdorf will present results on two studies they conducted over the past year. Below you can find the abstract for their paper presentation at 8am on Monday, 5/29/2017.
The attitudes and values of Internet (non)users have been studied over the years, but rarely used to identify broader ‘cultures of the Internet’ and their role in shaping digital divides. This paper builds on research in Britain, which focused on attitudes underpinning Internet cultures, to explore the degree that similar or distinctive cultures have developed in the USA, and whether and how they are useful in explaining digital divides. This study utilizes original data drawn from a 2016 telephone survey of residents across the State of Michigan that adapts survey items and methods from the Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS) of Britain. Based on these survey responses, the paper identifies and describes the cultures of the Internet among Michigan residents, as an exploratory case of the US as a whole, and shows how these cultures shape digital divides in Internet and social media use across this one American state.
Our PhD student and research assistant Ruth Shillair will present two papers at the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Diego, CA this May. Her presentations are both on Monday, 5/29. Below you find the abstract for her 9:30am talk:
Many interventions have been designed to help users improve their digital safety habits. At the same time, many individuals would like to have better protection, but aren’t sure what material to trust or where to get accurate, timely and actionable information. There is a gap in our understanding of how individuals search for and learn about digital safety information. This research is to aid in theory development to better understand this process. Twenty-one interviews were conducted with seven individuals from three distinct age cohorts (Millennials, Boomers, and Older Adults). I probed for differences in the information search process in the topics of: health, shopping, crime, and digital safety. The findings showed that rather than age, normative user behaviors (Internet cultures) were primary drivers in the individuals’ search and selection process. A major barrier to seeking and acting on information in this realm is not knowing who to trust.
During the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Diego, CA, our Director Bill Dutton and Assistant Director Bibi Reisdorf will present results on two studies they conducted over the past year. Below you can find the abstract for their paper presentation at 2pm on Monday, 5/29/2017.
Since the early days of the Internet, researchers across various disciplines have focused on the phenomenon of digital divides and inequalities. With changing proportions of Internet users and non-users and changing perceptions from the Internet being a new innovation to something that the majority of citizens in North America and Western Europe take for granted come changing foci of investigation and changing questions. Using questionnaires from the US, Great Britain, Hungary, and South Africa reaching back to 1997, we examine how survey research questions on Internet use and non-use have evolved across diverse contexts. Through the lens of changing operational definitions of Internet use across time and space, you can see the ebb and flow of academic interest in digital divides, the changing meaning of that term, and the changing character of divides.
Our PhD student and research assistant Ruth Shillair will present two papers at the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Diego, CA this May. Her presentations are both on Monday, 5/29. Below you find the abstract for her 3:30pm talk:
Numerous communication initiatives have attempted to help inform computer users and motivate them to better digital safety practices. Extending protection motivation theory (PMT), the effects of the role of protection habit strength as well as previous experiences with online security threats were incorporated into a causal model that included both protection motivation intentions and current safety behaviors. This model was tested using a survey of 988 MTurk workers. Previous experiences with common security threats were directly related to perceptions of threat vulnerability and threat severity and also to beliefs in response efficacy. Partial least squares analysis among PMT variables showed habits were strong predictors of protective behaviors (β = 0.44, p < .001). The model explained 37 percent of the variance in protection motivation and 24 percent of the variance in protective behaviors. Experiences with common online security violations were significantly related to perceptions of threat vulnerability and threat severity.
This workshop will be on the first afternoon of the 2017 International Conference on Social Media & Society. It will begin a discussion about news and democracy in the digital age. A quick review of a report from Public Policy Forum serves as a spark for coordinated group brainstorming around research and policy needs. Focus will then turn to debate over studies that address aspects of these concerns, beginning with a cross-national online survey of Internet users and how they use search and social media to access information about politics. Issues around fake news, echo chambers, and filter bubbles will be a focus. The discussion will then turn to a related study looks at how individuals access and learn from news on social media. These studies will be discussed individually and together – over Twitter (at #smtrust) and in the workshop – before turning to issues for policy and practice in Canada and worldwide, such as around social media, search, and digital media literacy. Breakout groups will formulate proposals for policy and practice that will be presented to the workshop in a final discussion section.
An outline of the workshop is available here. News Workshop for SMS 2017
Elizabeth Dubois, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa @lizdubois
William H. Dutton, Quello Professor and Director of the Quello Center, Michigan State University @BiIIDutton
Ed Greenspon, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, Ottawa, Canada @egreenspon @ppforumca
Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Connecticut @anneohirsch
Craig Robertson, Doctoral Student, Media and Information, Michigan State University @CraigTRobertson