Personality Antecedents of Internet Overuse Behaviour Among College Students

Yuvaraj Thiyagarajan, Suresh Armugam


Internet has become a ubiquitous feature at home, school and the workplace, as the worldwide population of Internet users has grown rapidly in the recent years. However, its excessive use, especially using it unnecessarily, is found to affect psychological functioning of the users, more particular harm caused among the youngsters. Researchers have found some of the individual factors, particularly the individual personality, that significantly correlate with the both the trend in usage of Internet and its overuse as well. Hence, investigators of this study wanted to examine whether personality is predicting internet overuse behaviour among college going students. For this a sample of 153 college and university students (92 male and 61 female) in the age range of 18 to 25 years were selected non-randomly from 4 different institutions in Tamil Nadu. They were administered with the 120 item IPIP NEO personality inventory and 36 item online cognition scale. Regression analyses were carried out test the hypotheses, using SPSS (version 23.0). Results showed that the personality factors, except openness to experience were found to be predicting internet overuse, with an overall R2 value of 0.37. Among the factors, excitement seeking of extraversion, anxiety, anger and depression facets of neuroticism and self-efficacy, orderliness, cautiousness and dutifulness facets of conscientiousness were significantly contributing. To infer, the respondents in the sample, who were highly sensation seekers, anxious and depressive by nature, low on self-efficacy, not being orderly and dutiful tend to overuse internet. Among the personality factors, conscientiousness was a strong predictor of internet overuse in the sample


Internet overuse; Personality; Excitement seeking; Conscientiousness

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