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Personality traits and Internet usage across generation cohorts: Insights from a nationally representative study
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. Centre for Consumer Research, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Individ och samhälle (VIDSOC), Individual and Society)
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education. (Individ och samhälle (VIDSOC), Individual and Society)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7164-0433
2018 (English)In: Current Psychology, ISSN 1046-1310, E-ISSN 1936-4733Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Studies examining the relationship between personality and Internet usage have usually used small and non-representative samples. In the present study, we examine the relationship between the Five Factor Model of Personality and Internet usage in a large nationally representative Swedish sample (N = 1694). Neuroticism was negatively associated with overall Internet usage, whereas extraversion and openness to experience were shown to be positively associated with overall Internet usage. However, exploring these associations across categories of Internet usage and generation cohorts revealed some other interesting patterns. Specifically, neuroticism was negatively associated with using the Internet for activities relating to information and duties but not for leisure and social activities. Extraversion was positively associated with using the Internet for leisure and social activities among DotNets (born 1977–1999), whereas among Dutifuls (born 1910–1945) and Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964) extraversion was positively associated with using the Internet for information and duty activities. Openness to experience was positively associated with Internet usage but only among Baby Boomers. Conscientiousness was a significant predictor of Internet usage only for DotNets and GenXers (born 1965–1976). In these cohorts, conscientiousness was positively associated with using the Internet for information and duty activities but negatively associated with using the Internet for leisure and social activities. Apparently, understanding the relationship between personality and Internet usage is not possible without considering the modifying role of categories of Internet usage and generation cohorts. The implications of the results for theory and practice are discussed in detail.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Internet usage, Personality, Traits, Generation cohorts
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Individual and Society VIDSOC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16400DOI: 10.1007/s12144-018-0033-2Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85056727475OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16400DiVA, id: diva2:1263392
Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2019-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Roos, John MagnusKazemi, Ali

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