Bartsch, A., Mangold, R., Viehoff, R., & Vorderer, P. (2006). Emotional gratifications during media use – an integrative approach. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 31(3), 261-278. Retrieved March 30, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article concentrates on media consumers’ experiences of emotions when using the media. The article deems emotional experiences as a major gratification of the media, naming several emotion-related gratifications (mood management, sensation seeking, intrinsic motivation, modes of reception, and mood adjustment). Emotion-related gratifications are sought because of the physical feelings they evoke. When this happens, a media offer is made to a consumer, the consumer evaluates it, and emotions are experienced. The consumer then evaluates the emotion, deciding if it is good or bad, and in short, decides if the media will be consumed again. Internal stimuli will motivate users to then seek those feelings repeatedly, and consume certain forms of media again and again. This article will provide us with crucial information because it delves into a major gratification of the media, and draws conclusions as to why and how people seek emotions by the means of media consumption.

Cho, J., De Zuniga, H. G., Nah, S., Humane, A., Hwang, H., Rojas, H., & Shah, D. V. (2003). Beyond access: Digital divide, internet use and gratifications gained. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA. 1-30. Retrieved February 25, 2008 from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
Using phone survey data gathered from over 43,000 young adults ages 18 and over from various socio-economic backgrounds, this article explores the differences between their Internet uses and gratifications. The article confirmed that there are basic motivations for Internet use (cognitive, affective, personal integrative, social integrative, and escapist needs) and it found that young people who are in the higher levels of socio-economic status typically use the Internet differently from young people of lower socio-economic status. The article stresses that while the Internet is becoming increasingly accessible for various groups, young people are still using it differently, and for different gratifications. This article is useful to our group because it makes us ask “why,” drawing our attention to the reasons for the prevalence of such differences. It is also potentially very useful because it directly contextualizes the Internet within the media theory of uses and gratifications and provides a helpful primer on the theory.

Diddi, A., & LaRose, R. (2006). Getting hooked on news: Uses and gratifications and the formation of news habits among college students in an internet environment. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(2), 193-210. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article discusses the development of habits regarding news consumption among college students and the determining factors behind them. The researchers considered such media as comedy news (such as The Daily Show
), television news magazines, and public news sources. The authors posit that the Internet plays a significant role in the news consumption of college students because of its fulfillment of certain needs – mainly a need for surveillance and escapism. Also, this article addresses the reasons why the Internet has not completely displaced older media (such as newspapers), saying that there are still gratifications offered by older media that the Internet does not offer. The article serves the purposes of our research because, firstly, it puts the spotlight on specific gratifications. Secondly, it discusses a demographic that is interesting to us, specifically, today’s college students who are a part of the first “Internet generation.” Lastly, it is relevant because our group’s concentration is on the Internet.

Dimmick, J., Chen, Y., & Li, Z. (2004). Competition between the internet and traditional news media: The gratification-opportunities niche dimension. Journal of Media Economics, 17(1), 19-33. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article discusses the effects that the Internet has on traditional news media and is based on the results of a telephone survey of 211 people about their consumption of traditional news media and the Internet. It was concluded that the Internet may displace traditional news media (television and newspapers), as indicated by the overlap in the needs that they meet, and it offers users the most possibilities for being gratified. This article is of interest to my group because we are studying uses and gratifications theory as it applies to the Internet, the article defines gratification opportunities as a potential for a consumer’s need to be met, and the article delineates how to distinguish/measure displacement – a possible consequence of uses and gratifications. This article shows us not only how the Internet is used and for what gratifications, but the consequences of the two in relation to traditional news media.

Flanagin, A. (2005). IM online: Instant messaging use among college students. Communication Research Reports, 22(3), 175-187. Retrieved March 22, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
The main focus of this journal article is the applicability of uses and gratifications theory to the Internet-based technology of instant messaging. Specifically, Flanagin discusses a study aimed at, among other things, ascertaining the reasons why college students utilize instant messaging technology. Ultimately, four main categories were determined relating to reasons for using IM. The categories were “Social Entertainment,” “Task Accomplishment,” “Social Attention,” and “Meet New People.” There were a total of four research questions cited in the article, one of which related to determining what needs college students hope to address by engaging in IM. This article is of great interest and relevance to our group because it seems to be directly aligned with our chosen research focus of the interactions between uses and gratifications theory and the new medium of the Internet. As such, we are likely to be able to derive much pertinent information from the contents of the article and integrate it into our project.

Haridakis, P. M., & Whitmore, E. H. (2006). Understanding electronic media audiences: The pioneering research of Alan M. Rubin. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(4), 766-774. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article is a “Research Pioneer Tribute” of scholar Alan M. Rubin. To that end, the authors of the article review milestone studies in uses and gratifications that have been helmed by Rubin. For example, they describe his development of his Television Viewing Motives Scale. Haridakis and Whitmore also provide a general overview of uses and gratifications theory. The final section of the article is devoted to addressing Rubin’s legacy. The article ends with the statement, “His [Rubin’s] pioneering studies in U&G remain as benchmarks for scholars seeking to understand electronic media and how engaged audiences relate to its content” (p. 772). For our group, this article is useful because it helps orient us to important developments in the theory as well as inform us of basic information about the theory. This article is also of value to us because it is a storehouse of additional reference sources that we can obtain if necessary.

Huang, C., Shen, Y., Lin, H., & Chang, S. (2007). Bloggers' motivations and behaviors: A model. Journal of Advertising Research, 47(4), 472-484. Retrieved March 30, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
The article discusses an investigation into why people engage in blogging activity and the behavioral aspects of their activity. Specifically, the authors note that they would like to examine the link between motivation and behavior. The researchers state that people blog for five main reasons: “Self-expression,” “life documenting,” “commenting,” “community forum participation,” and “information seeking.” Additionally, they state that there are two main blogging behaviors: “Information search” and “social interaction.” In concluding the article, the authors comment on how marketers can take the five blogging motivations into account when designing campaigns. This article will factor into our project because it is directly relevant to us given our focus of the uses and gratifications of the Internet. Since blogging is a use of the Internet, and Huang et al. write about reasons people blog as well as what they behavior is like in relation to blogging activities, I am confident our group will be able to use this source effectively.

Katz, E., Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1973). Uses and gratifications research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 37(4), 509. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
In this article, the authors proffer a comprehensive review and commentary of uses and gratifications theory. For example, they discuss avenues of future development and refinement of the theory. They also review the research of many scholars and situate that research within the broader uses and gratifications landscape. Also included in the article is a survey of the development of uses and gratifications typology. Simply put, this article is unquestionably a “mother lode” of information that will aid immensely in our group’s discussion of the basic information regarding the theory and highlights in its historical developments. Moreover, Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch are mentioned in the RTVF 173 course text as being those responsible for originating the formal uses and gratifications theory in the 1970s, so this article is particularly interesting because it was penned by uses and gratifications theory’s founding fathers. All in all, this source is an excellent literature review as well as introduction to the issues surrounding uses and gratifications theory.

Kaye, B. K., & Johnson, T. J. (2004). A web for all reasons: Uses and gratifications of internet components for political information. Telematics & Informatics, 21(3), 197-223. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This study, conducted during the 2000 presidential election, showed that Internet users mainly used bulletin boards, emails and chat forums to obtain political information. The researchers wanted to ascertain the reasons why Internet users used web bulletin boards, e-mails and chat forums. Through this study, the researchers found out that different ways of getting information on the Internet actually suit different people and their different needs. In the discussion section, the authors note that the research sample of the study turned to the Internet to get help on how they should vote, be entertained, and gather information, among other things. Another determination of the study was that political ideologies play a part in influencing political Internet activity. This article is of interest to our group because it clearly takes a uses and gratifications perspective and applies it to the Internet, which is exactly in tune with our group’s chosen research focus.

Ko, H., Cho, C., & Roberts, M. S. (2005). Internet uses and gratifications. Journal of Advertising, 34(2), 57-70. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article describes a study on causes that motivate Internet uses and how they affect their behaviors. The article suggested that people have a psychological need that drives their choices of media. Therefore, different kinds of people can use a specific medium for different kinds of reasons. The research shows that human-message interaction, which is a user’s interaction with messages, seems to provide users the opportunity to have control over their choices of media. On the other hand, human-human interaction, which is two-way communication, showed that providing feedback to Internet users encourages interaction and therefore motivates Internet users. Unfortunately, the authors concede a caveat of the study in the form of the fact that the choices of samples for this research were done on the basis of convenience and not on general population. This article is strongly applicable to our group’s research because it uniquely applies uses and gratifications theory to addressing advertising implications.

LaRose, R., & Eastin, M. S. (2004). A social cognitive theory of internet uses and gratifications: Toward a new model of media attendance. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48(3), 358-377. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article discusses various Internet usage studies that were put together and compared to social cognitive theory. As such, these studies challenged the uses and gratification approach to understanding media. One of the studies mentioned in the article studied a group of people from 2 Midwestern states who were randomly selected by mail to complete an online questionnaire. According to the article, researches used a structural equation modeling technique to test media attendance on the Internet. The study also showed that providing for personal needs may not be a reason for users’ choice of media. The reason for this as cited in the article is that media use can become habitual. Overall, this article can be of great assistance to our group because it examines how uses and gratifications theory stands to be improved and refined by slight modifications to its ideas. In the case of this article, one such modification can be the appropriation of concepts from social cognitive theory.

McQuail, D. (1984). With the benefit of hindsight: Reflections on uses and gratifications research. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1(2), 177-193. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
As suggested by its title, the article discusses various facets of uses and gratifications theory, including controversies and outstanding issues. Furthermore, this journal reviews research relating to uses and gratifications theory that took place during the 1960s. The first section of the article recounts observations of children watching television from the 1950s to the early 1960s. According to the article, researchers then began making discoveries about differences between causes of addiction and overindulgence. The author also relates the view that uses and gratifications for television can be seen as both positive and negative. Furthermore, the article suggests that by watching television programs that appeal to them, people might be able to escape from anxieties; however, they can also easily be manipulated by television. Our group has decided to include this article as part of our research because it acts as a strong source of background information about uses and gratifications theory.

Papacharissi, Z., & Rubin, A. M. (2000). Predictors of internet use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44(2), 175. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article begins with a compact literature review of Internet-related research. It makes use of the term computer-mediated communication (CMC). By definition, CMC is communication augmented with computerization. CMC-related activities include browsing the World Wide Web. In the article, the researchers articulate their views regarding how different perspectives, including uses and gratifications, help us further understand relationships between people and technology. The article also explains how CMC can change meaning over time. The main example used to illustrate that is the difference between face-to-face communication and hyper-personal communication. Most Internet users feel hyper-personal communication is just as good as face-to-face communication, if not better. Many people feel using the Internet is much more convenient for them. This article is of tremendous use to our group because it explores motives behind Internet use, based on the text, and also how those motives can affect how people feel after actually using the Internet.

Perse, E. M., & Dunn, D. G. (1998). The utility of home computers and media use: Implications of multimedia and connectivity. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 42(4), 435. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article explores the effects that home computers have on people. The introduction of the article notes that computers did not become popular as quickly as other media such as television and radio mostly because of high costs and not being user-friendly. However, according to the article, since 1984 people have adapted to using computers and view them as an easy way to find information, communicate with people all over the world, and provide entertainment, such as playing games. The article also focuses on how computers are an impersonal way to communicate with others and how they affect people socially as well as negatively affect the popularity of other media. The article is of interest to us because it explains how perspectives such as uses and gratifications aid researchers in understanding how important computers are to people and what they gain from using them. Furthermore, the inclusion of computers in the discussion makes this article very applicable to our project.

Tewksbury, D., & Althaus, S. (2000). An examination of motivations for using the world wide web. Communication Research Reports, 17(2), 127-138. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
As the title suggests, in this article, Tewksbury and Althaus endeavor to determine why people use the World Wide Web, a component of the Internet. Specifically, the authors aim to determine if uses and gratifications theory, as it is traditionally understood, can be effective when utilized in Internet-related research, or if the “conceptual development of an entirely new set of media use orientations” (p. 128) is in order. To answer their question, the authors enlisted the help of a sample of college students via questionnaires, and performed requisite quantitative analyses. The authors concluded that uses and gratifications theory’s traditional tenets still hold up remarkably well when subjected to the test of explaining Internet uses and gratifications. In essence, this article is very valuable to our group because it discusses, in a clear and straightforward manner, uses and gratifications theory’s place in the Internet environment, which is exactly what our research focus is.

Westerik, H., Renckstorf, K., Lammers, J., & Wester, F. (2006). Transcending uses and gratifications: Media use as social action and the use of event history analysis. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 31(2), 139-153. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.
This article contains the declaration by the authors of the continued usefulness of uses and gratifications theory, as it pertains to the media, despite any associated shortcomings. Specifically, the authors forward the idea that uses and gratifications theory incorporates ways of thinking that characterize such theories as Expectancy Value and Subjective Expected Utility, which are considered part of the discipline of economics, and that uses and gratifications contains questionable underlying premises. As such, the authors posit that an improved theory should be formulated. The article proceeds to discuss the use of action theories, such as framing, to explain media usage. Moreover, the authors comment that these media theories do not integrate well with the uses and gratifications model. This article can aid in our project because it provides another perspective of uses and gratifications theory. This, in turn, broadens our understanding of the theory because it informs us of critiques and potential weaknesses of the theory.

RTVF 173 Textbook Resources

Miller, K. (2005). Communication theories: Perspectives, processes, and contexts (2nd ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.

West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2007). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.

(The Bay Area Scholars, Spring 2008)