Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

School of Business

First Advisor

Jacquelyn Warwick

Second Advisor

Jerome Thayer

Abstract

Consumer Behavior is an interdisciplinary field that marketers use to understand the wants and behavior of consumers. It focuses on how people decide to spend their available resources, such as time or money, on a product or service and examines issues such as why, how often, and the impact of making such a decision. This study will incorporate the Social Cognitive Theory's assessment of expected outcomes based on consumers' own direct experiences that incite continued participation with the Use and Gratification Theory's idea of social need that may result in need gratification, leading to unintended results. Users of SNSs and MMORPGs participate in social mediums because they expect positive outcomes, such as being able to satisfy their social needs online. However, this may result in unintended consequences, such as lower grades or diminished faceto- face social interaction. My project examines the impact of social mediums on college students' academic and social lives by looking at academic performance, the presence of a significant other, and social interaction, in search of any unintended consequences. The analyses show that SNS users who spend much time on SNSs have lower grades if they have at least one very strong pressure to study. Students without very strong pressure do not have lower grades if they spend much time on SNSs; in fact, moderate SNS users had slightly higher grades. I also found that females with who spend much time on SNSs are more likely to have a significant other than those who spend little time on SNSs. Males who spend much time on SNSs are less likely to have a significant other than males who spend little time on SNSs. Finally, the analyses show that students who spend more time on MMORPGs have lower grades than those who spend little time on them.

Subject Area

Social networks, Online social networks, Students--Effect of online social networks on, Students--Social life and customs., Students--Attitudes.

Share

COinS