The Internet and Tobacco Cessation: The Roles of Internet Self-Efficacy and Search Task on the Information-Seeking Process



This study explores the effects of Internet self-efficacy and search task specificity on the self-efficacy outcome and task perseverance of finding online health-related sites that contain attributes of website accountability, as established by the American Medical Association (AMA). In a mixed 2 (self-efficacy) x 2 (search task specificity) repeated-measures experimental design, participants conducted two search tasks (general and specific) that varied in the amount of task difficulty. When search task specificity was taken into account, there was an Internet self-efficacy and task specificity interaction according to which high Internet self-efficacy participants locate sites higher in website accountability in the general search task (the more difficult search task) than their low self-efficacy counterparts. There was no significant difference in website accountability for the specific search task (the less difficult task). High Internet self-efficacy participants also demonstrated more task perseverance than their low Internet self-efficacy counterparts.