Toward a better understanding of the interplay of personal values and the internet



Although personal values have been widely used to examine consumer behavior in many product and service categories, little research has been devoted to the relationship between values and usage of the Internet. This article examines the association between consumers' personal values and their attitudes, preferences, and activities associated with using the Internet. With the use of survey data gathered from 506 Internet users, the relationship between selected Internet activities and specific personal values, and the association between two technological paradoxes (with relevance to the Internet) and specific personal values (as measured by the Kahle, 1983, LOV inventory) are explored. The Internet activities include (a) business-related uses of the Internet, (b) information and research-related uses of the Internet, (c) e-commerce and related uses of the Internet, and (d) fun and entertainment-related uses of the Internet. The results highlight the differences in behavior and feelings about the Internet based on personal values. Advertising and other forms of marketing communication can incorporate those personal values that appear to be linked to specific Internet usage or activities. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.